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Arcadian Residence and Resort

Designed to Sell

Once you arrive, there's really no need to leave.

Citing that condominiums often look like hotels with no architectural spirit, the Arcadian developer challenged GS&P’s architecture and interior team to create a striking iconic building, a first of its kind in Concord, North Carolina. The 12-story mixed-use tower is designed to include 15,000 square feet of leasable retail space, 151 luxury residential units, a restaurant, a fitness center, a theater, and a terrace-level outdoor pool, and is minutes away from Lowe’s Motor Speedway. All units have mid- or high-end finishes and will target those in the racing industry — sponsors, race team members, affluent fans — as well as current Concord residents looking for previously unavailable high-rise accommodations.

Describe how GS&P became involved with this client and the vision for the new design.

David “Woody” Jones: Initially, the client saw our website and came to us because of the quality of work we’ve done. The design involves a 12-story condominium high-rise near the Motor Speedway with 151 units.

Earl Massey: Specifically, it has 58 one-bedroom units, 37 two-bedroom units, 39 four-bedroom units, 13 corporate units, and 4 two-level penthouse units.

Woody: The client was shooting for the upper end in the market. The condos are aimed at corporate end users who would come for a race and stay the whole race weekend. The client pointed us to some projects out of Miami that he liked, and that’s where we started with the design. Our role was to help him sell the project, so our deliverable was basically a schematic design and mortgage package with renderings of fixtures, floor plans, and interior perspectives.

What are some of the key factors in creating schematics to attract investors?

Earl: On a graphics level, the key is simplicity. We tried to let the building and its units speak for itself. With unit renderings, we used actual materials like hardwood floors and rugs to show how a furnished unit could look. It’s important for the layout to speak out. We also produced boards, and they had showings that included a big lunch event to unveil the project to realtors.

The client was looking for something that would be striking and iconic. What are some of the features of the site, and what elements did you incorporate to create an icon?

Woody: We included a lot of glass to reflect a more modern, high-end aesthetic, but the inverted V-shape of our roof with fins is probably the most iconic piece of it. The building overlooks the Rocky River golf course and features penthouses on the upper floors, each with their own private terrace. It also has a private pool and patio deck atop the parking deck. There are three levels of parking on the ground floor with restaurants and retail, and amenities for the residents. You’ll notice a lot of palm trees in the renderings, which is something the client wanted as a signature element to differentiate the project from any other project in the region.

Describe the features of the interior design.

Kristie Nicoloff: The spaces were tight, so we tried to make them airy and open with more of a New York loft feel, versus your typical closed-in single room. We used natural materials like stone, travertine, and wood. Most of the rooms have wood floors with area rugs. All the countertops are granite or Silestone surfaces depending on the level of unit selected.

Woody: With the suites, we also built in the option to add bedrooms or leave it as open entertainment space.

Kristie: Unfortunately, we didn’t get to design the grand lobby scheme because the client was more focused on the units. But, an interesting feature of the design is that it’s a mixed-use building with condos and other businesses like dry cleaning pickup and delivery, restaurants, a workout facility — sort of a one-stop shop. Once you arrive, there’s really no need to leave.

What challenges did you face along the way?

Woody: In the beginning, we were designing for one site, and then the option on the land came up and we had to move the building to a whole new site. It didn’t change tremendously, but we had to refit the building to a different site. It was a little bit of an adjustment to stay on the same deadline.

Kristie: So we had some starts and stops, but we overcame the deadlines, which took a lot of effort and was a huge feat.

Since it appears that the project has stalled at least until the housing market rebounds, what is your biggest goal for this design?

Woody: When we took on the project, our biggest goal was really to get our name out there. We had a billboard on the highway for several months, which resulted in an article in the city paper. So even though the project is stalled, we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of it.

What have you learned from this project?

Kristie: It was a good learning experience not just from the development of doing a high-end residential project, which GS&P is not known for in certain markets, but to also prove we can do it. It wasn’t just a matter of creating a design and drawings. We had to create a brochure that would make Suzy Q. Public look at our brochure, fall in love with the Arcadian, and want to live there. We showed that we have the ability to put all of our graphics together without having to hire a separate graphics company and can work with local printers to ensure a quality representation. There was a lot of back and forth between the printer, the contractor, and the realtor so that we clearly understood what was needed to make this successful. It was a whole different mindset and concept, and we made it work.

What aspect of this project is most gratifying to you?

Woody: For me, it was an opportunity to flex a little muscle on design. I wish we could have pushed it a little bit further, but it was a collaborative. Several designers in the office worked together to put the image together. At the end of the day, it was a really strong image.

Earl: It was great hands-on experience to be able to design the penthouse unit. The client was very happy with what he saw. I’m also really proud of the brochure, especially knowing it was received very well by a lot of people. And it’s good to spread the word that we can do more than just architecture. We can do very sleek graphics in-house, produce it, and send it out. It was a very good experience even though it was a tight deadline. It shows that we all can work together as long as we’ve got a schedule and we follow it.

Kristie: I’m most proud of being able to utilize all the different resources to push people to their limits and be successful. For instance, I had no expertise whatsoever in high-end residential designs. To see everybody come together, check their egos at the door, and sit down ready to make the project work was a great experience. We had a tight deadline, but we had a goal in mind, and everybody was able to learn from one another to come up with the final product. You don’t get that with every team.

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Project Info

  • Client: VP Industries
  • Location: Concord, NC, USA
  • Market: Corporate + Urban Design
  • Services: Architecture, Interior Design
  • Team:
    • Steven P. Johnson, AIA Principal-in-Charge
    • Ann Seton Trent, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP Project Manager
    • Eric Bearden, AIA Project Professional
    • Alanna Scudder Project Coordinator
    • Jeffrey W. Kuhnhenn, AIA, LEED AP Project Designer
    • Joseph A. Johnston Project Engineer
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