Contain yourself: New Whole Foods Market opens in Little Rock
GUEST EXPERIENCE NOW INCLUDES INDOOR/OUTDOOR SPACES AND A MUST-SEE BAR, CREATED FROM A FAÇADE OF REPURPOSED SHIPPING CONTAINERS AND SUPPORTED THROUGHOUT WITH HIGH-PERFORMANCE ELECTRICAL, MECHANICAL, AND REFRIGERATION SYSTEMS
A brand new Whole Foods Market has found a home in Little Rock. The Bowman Road store serves as a replacement of the Arkansas capital city’s previous location, and remains the only WFM in the state (for now). At over 34,000 sq. ft., the store becomes the largest retailer of natural and organic foods in the Natural State.
Upon arrival, shoppers are greeted by a unique and innovative new building façade where the original retail front, with its CMU box wall and stucco-clad entry, previously stood. The new façade utilizes welcoming brick and wood with canopy elements protecting large, glazed openings to provide previously absent natural daylight within. Eighteen repurposed shipping containers complete the envelope while creating comfortable indoor and outdoor nook-like seating spaces. Here guests can relax and enjoy fabulously prepared fresh food and drinks, including those from the “Lucky Fox,” a container retrofitted with a 12-tap, in-store beer and wine bar.
Whole Foods Market consistently challenges CTA to utilize innovative designs to achieve energy savings and adhere to sustainable design principles. Twenty-one skylights added to the existing roof structure now provide natural daylight through the sales floor. Controllable Hi Bay lights on the sales floor complement the natural daylighting, while an abundance of LED light fixtures further reduce energy consumption. The traditional centralized refrigeration system was split into smaller systems and strategically placed close to the cases and walk-in boxes they serve, significantly reducing the overall amount of copper piping and refrigerant. Integrated, web-based controls are utilized throughout mechanical, electrical, and refrigeration systems for off-site monitoring and control, optimizing performance and energy efficiency.
And finally, structural innovations are not limited to replacing a major exterior CMU wall with cargo containers. Other innovations are also subtly incorporated – a moment connected steel entry canopy; a high-strength, concealed, reverse-connection tensioning system to minimize the slack of 10, independent, one-inch diameter cables; and cantilevered canopy elements over interior venues – all to maintain the clean, concise, and interesting elements Whole Foods Market requires to enhance the guest experience.
A special thanks to all CTA team members, including Daniel Bachelier, Buckley Parks, Larry Migl, Dan Grant, Matt Hays, Dan Kopp, Brett Hubber, Puru Shah, Will Chivers, Tom Poremba, Joel Anderson, and Sheri Blattel.