The design of the 163 ton steel structure was created as a homage to Miesian sensibility of the adjacent warehouse from the 1950s, which has been renovated into a training center, which acts as an open shed, with key programmatic elements while creating two display and activities lawns, one for the public and one private. When assembling the exterior glass supported by HSS5x5, extensive glazing technology has been incorporated in order to create a beautiful and transparent space.

However, the primary stair landing takes the center stage, with a glowing red box that cantilevers under the main porch and acts as a beacon from the nearby Interstate. The steel/glass structure fusion design was created so that during the day, the lobby is 100% naturally lit. A cantilever placed over the reception area is actually a “floating” meeting room, which was possible thank to simple welded steel connections and diagonal bracing.

The challenge was to create a highly personal structure that represented the company’s core values of family, integrity, teamwork and excellence. Therefore, the building’s form was inspired from machine-lke movement, digging into the earth and lifting to the sky, with abstract arm booms, haul truck box beds and wheel tracks dug into earth being subtly incorporated into the design.

This project is the recipient of many prestigious awards such as:

-Winner of the “Under $15 million” category 2018 Ideas² Merit Award, as presented in the May 2018 issue of the Modern Steel Construction Magazine.

-Winner of Honor Award 2016 and Members Choice Award 2016 of the American Institute of Architects, Arkansas.

This project was covered in an article in the September 2017 issue of the Modern Steel Construction Magazine, as well as in the May 2018 issue.

MSC Magazine 2017 (

MSC Magazine 2018 (


The modern aesthetic of AESS was seamlessly integrated into the interior and exterior” – Brian Falconer, SE, PE, engineer juror for 2018 Ideas²’

We celebrate these projects and appreciate the savvy, creative people behind them for showcasing the beauty and usefulness of structural steelCharles J. Carter, SE, PE, PhD, president of AISC

Caterpillar’s main Arkansas outpost puts all its steel on display in a nod to the equipment it manufactures” – Reese Rowland, FAIA, principal for design with Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects.