In this video entitled Building Between, Marlon Blackwell advocates for a kind of regionalism which isn’t as divisive as “regionalism.” As a 24-year resident of Arkansas, he recalls his work and process in a place which he states is both “an environment of natural beauty and a place of real constructed ugliness”—showing the nuanced and self-critical awareness of place beyond the utopian glorification of genius loci which earlier this year earned him the 2016 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture.
In this video by the AIA, Marlon Blackwell, one of Arkansas’ foremost architects, speaks on the importance of small projects in an architect's career. “I only really worked on small projects at the beginning…that was doing everything…The scale of the site, the scale of the model, the scale of the hand…the beauty of the small project is that you can work at all of those many scales," says Blackwell. “The smaller projects are the beginning of the development of a language in architecture. I see it not as a benign or banal thing but as the beginning of taking yourself from where you are to where you want to be.”
Architecture and art have had a long and complicated relationship. Many people consider architecture to be “the mother art,” while others believe the burdens of program and pragmatism prohibit architecture from the realm of pure artistry. But what happens when architecture is displayed alongside art? Next Wednesday, November 11th, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas is primed to open Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian-era Bachman-Wilson house to the public. It is the first Wright home to be relocated to an art museum property, accompanying the museum's Moshe Safdie-designed building within a short walk of artworks by Norman Rockwell, Donald Judd and Andy Warhol. These unique juxtapositions open up new conversations about the goals of preserving buildings as well as chances to contemplate architecture’s place within art history.
Dallas Architecture Forum, a non-profit organization for everyone interested in learning about and improving the architecture, design, landscape and urban fabric of the North Texas region is pleased to continue its 2015-16 Lecture Season with the outstanding architect Kevin McClurkan, Management Partner of Ennead Architects of New York City. McClurkan's many major projects include the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock; the Newseum adjacent to the US Capitol in Washington, DC; and The Standard hotel on the High Line Park in New York City. He will speak on Tuesday, November 3 at 7 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium
Hidden in the middle of the forests surrounding Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains, Thorncrown Chapel rests amongst the oaks, pines and maples. The humble chapel, designed by Euine Fay Jones, is less than 35 years old – yet it’s on the U.S. Historic register, has been named one of the AIA’s top ten buildings of the 20th century, and has even been called the best American building since 1980.
A rare house from Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian house period has been saved by the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas. The dramatic rescue plan to disassemble and move the house to a site over 1,000 miles away is required due to frequent flooding of the home's existing site in Millstone, New Jersey. The Crystal Bridges Museum will rebuild and restore the house at a site on their 120-acre grounds.
Read on for more about this unusual preservation
During the 2011 AIA Arkansas Convention I had the chance to meet one of the most influential architects in the state: Marlon Blackwell.