MCHAP Shortlists the 36 Most “Outstanding Projects” in the Americas

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology () and Dirk Denison, Director of the (MCHAP), have announced the inaugural MCHAP shortlist – 36 “Outstanding Projects” selected from the 225 MCHAP nominees.

“The rich diversity of these built works is a testament to the creative energy at work in the Americas today,” said Arets. “When viewed alongside the innovative work by the MCHAP.emerge finalists and winner, Poli House by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen which we honored in May, we see the evolution of a distinctly American conversation about creating livable space.” See all 36 winners after the break.

Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L Anderson Design Center / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: University of , , AR 72701
Mba Project Team: Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, Principal in Charge and Design Architect; David Jaehning, AIA, Project manager; Meryati Johari Blackwell, Assoc. AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, LEED AP BD+D; Jonathan Boelkins, AIA; William Burks, Assoc. AIA; Stephen Reyenga, Assoc. AIA; Michael Pope, Assoc. AIA; Bradford Payne, Assoc. AIA; Angela Carpenter
Associate Architect: Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects
Psw Project Team: Mark Herrmann AIA, Associate Principal in Charge and Project Manager; Joe Stanley, AIA, Principal; Craig Curzon, AIA, Principal; Reese Rowland, AIA, Principal; Wesley Walls, AIA, Principal; Kimberly Braden Prescott, ASID, Director of Interiors; Christopher Thomas, AIA; Sarah Menyhart Bennings, AIA; Michelle Teague, AIA; Conley Fikes, AIA; Jim Thacker; John Dupree, AIA; J.B. Mullins, AIA; Laura Lyon
Year: 2013
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Crystal Bridges Museum Store / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, 72712, USA
Design Team: Marlon Blackwell, Meryati Johari Blackwell, Michael Pope, Bradford Payne, Jonathan Boelkins, Stephen Reyenga, William Burks, Angela Carpenter, Casey Worrell
Year: 2011
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

AD Interviews: Marlon Blackwell

During the 2011 AIA Convention I had the chance to meet one of the most influential architects in the state: Marlon Blackwell.

A Distinguished Professor and Department Head in the School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas, Marlon Blackwell, FAIA runs the internationally recognized practice Marlon Blackwell Architect in , Arkansas. Blackwell’s portfolio consists of pristine architecture inspired by the vernaculars, seeking to transgress conventional boundaries of architecture. This design strategy has attracted national and international recognition, numerous AIA design awards and significant publications in prestigious books, architectural journals and magazines.

I was also very impressed by how he inspires young architects, many of whom once worked at his studio, to succeed with their own independent practices.

Published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2005, the monograph of his work entitled, “An Architecture of the Ozarks: The Works of Marlon Blackwell” is a testament to the significant contributions Blackwell has provided the profession. Blackwell was also selected by The International Design Magazine, in 2006, as one of the ID Forty: Undersung Heroes and as an “Emerging Voice” in 1998 by the Architectural League of New York.

He has co-taught design studios with Peter Eisenman (1997 & 1998), Christopher Risher (2000) and Julie Snow (2003) at the University of Arkansas. Most recently, Blackwell served as Elliel Saarinen Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. His resume includes a growing list of visiting professorships, including the Ivan Smith Distinguished Professor at the University of Florida (Spring 2009), the Paul Rudolph Visiting Professor at Auburn University (Spring 2008), the Cameron Visiting Professor at Middlebury College (Fall 2007), the Ruth and Norman Moore Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis (Spring 2003), visiting professor at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Spring, 2001 and 2002) and Syracuse University (1991-92).

In 1994, he co-founded the University of Arkansas Mexico Summer Urban Studio, and has coordinated and taught in the program at the Casa Luis Barragan in Mexico City since 1996.

He received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University in 1980 and a M. Arch II degree from Syracuse University in Florence in 1991.

Marlon Blackwell Architect projects at ArchDaily:

Video edited by JP Barrera F.

St Nicholas Church / Marlon Blackwell Architect

Courtesy of

Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Project Location: , Arkansas, USA
Owner/Client: Saint Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church
Project Team: Marlon Blackwell, FAIA [principal] Jon Boelkins Bradford Payne Gail Shepherd Meryati Johari Blackwell Stephen Reyenga
Photographs: Timothy Hursley, Don Lourie, Marlon Blackwell Architect

Flashback: Towerhouse / Marlon Blackwell Architect

Courtesy of Marlon Blackwell Architect

Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Project Location: 2570 Old Missouri Road, , USA
Project Year: 2000
Photographs: Timothy Hursley, Richard


AIA Arkansas 2011 Convention

Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, Honor Award - photo © Timothy Hursley

Last week I had the honor to be an invited speaker to the 2011 AIA Arkansas Convention in Hot Springs, AR.

The event featured a great group of speakers such as Hicks Stones (Stone Architecture), Rand Elliott (FAIA, Elliott + Associates Architects), Maitland Jones (Deborah Berke & Partners Architects), Steve Dumez (FAIA, Eskew + Dumez + Ripple), David Miller (FAIA, Miller/Hull Partnership), Matthew Kreilich (Julie Snow Architects, Inc.), Kevin Alter (Alter Studio) and Tim Hursley (Architecture photographer).

During the convention I had the opportunity to meet a wide group of local architects, such as renowned architect Marlon Blackwell, Chris Baribeau from Modus Studio (recipient of the 2011 AIA Emerging Professional Award), among other local architects. I had also the opportunity to visit the Anthony Chapelby Maurice Jennings + David McKee Architects (Maurice Jennings was partner of E. Fay Jones for 25 years), an incredible piece of architecture.

Awards during the convention include local architect Charles Witsell, Jr (FAIA, founding partner and senior, Witsell, Evans & Rasco, Architects/Planners), recipient of the Fay Jones Gold Medal Award, and the Arkansas Chapter of the USGBC, recipient of the Award of Merit.

The 2011 Design Awards, announced last Friday, are a good snapshot of the current state of architecture in the southern state.

After the break, the list of the awarded projects. Some of them are already featured in AD, the rest will be here soon!

Architecture City Guide: Indianapolis

This week, with the help of our readers, we visited for our Architecture City Guide. Our readers suggested a lot of really nice buildings and we greatly appreciate their help. ’s numerous sporting events and conventions continually draw crowds to this industrious state capital throughout the year. It is only fitting that there is an architecture city guide for its various contemporary buildings. As a seat of government and industry, also boasts a nice variety of historic architecture that is worth seeing. Take a look at the list our readers help put together and add your favorites to the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Indianapolis list and corresponding map after the break.

The Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

The Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion is the result of a studied relationship between building, land and art, and serves as both a threshold and a destination within the 100 Acres Art & Nature Park at the Museum of Art. An ipe screen lines a steel exoskeleton forming deck, wall and canopy, wrapping programmatic elements. The pavilion is constructed to touch the landscape lightly and allow for the free flow of rain and filtered sunlight through the structure.

Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: 100 Acres Art & Nature Park, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Project Area: 1,290 sqf enclosed, 3,041 sqf deck, 3,582 sqf canopy
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Video: Indianapolis Museum of Art Visitors Pavilion

Melvin and Bren Simon Director and CEO Maxwell Anderson holds a conversation with 100 Acres Project Manager Dave Hunt and Architect Marlon Blackwell about the Museum of Art Visitors Pavilion. This Director’s Journal from Art Babble discusses the structure, site, geothermal, and the program of the pavilion.

L-Stack House / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

The L-Stack House responds to a site anomaly set within a dense inner-city neighborhood near a city park. The 10,000 sqf trapezoid-shaped lot is traversed diagonally by a dry-bed creek. The urban grid and the modest scale of existing houses in the neighborhood is enhanced through a strategy of bridging and stacking of forms.

In effect a new order is superimposed upon a in-fill tract of land that has been undeveloped since the 19th century origins of the city of . The resulting scheme is an ‘L’ configuration that subdivides the interior program and the site into private and public entities. A carefully positioned glass-enclosed stairway hinges together the two 18 -foot wide boxes that form the house structure.

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Fayetteville, , USA
Project Manager: Meryati Blackwell, Assoc. AIA
Project Team: Marlon Blackwell, AIA, Chris Baribeau, AIA, Matt Griffith, Assoc. AIA, Scott Scales, Assoc. AIA, Michael Pope
Landscape Designer: Stuart Fulbright
Structural Engineering: Joe Looney, P.E.
Lighting Design: John Rogers
General Contractor: Marlon Blackwell Architect and Benchmark Framing, Inc.
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Gentry Public Library / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

Marlon Blackwell Architect were asked to design a new modern public library within the 100 year-old brick shell of a former hardware store, located on Main Street in the small town of , Arkansas.

The program includes space for a public library, a community room, and a city history and genealogy collection. There is an open lot adjacent to the library which had remained undeveloped since the city was established in the late 19th century. Here an urban pocket park is placed allowing access from Main Street and the community room. To the south of the building, a new urban plaza of grass and concrete pavers acts as a community space for events such as book fairs. An antique fire truck exhibit building along the south end of the plaza is scheduled for construction at a later date.

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Gentry, Arkansas,
Project Team: Marlon Blackwell AIA (principal), Ati Blackwell Associate AIA (project manager), Julie Chambers, AIA Tony Patterson Scott Scales David Tanner, Associate AIA Gail Shepherd, AIA
Structural: Joseph Looney & Associates
MEP: GA Engineers, Inc.
Civil: Civil Engineering, Inc.
Landscape Designer: Stuart Fulbright
General Contractor: SSi, Inc
Owner/Client: City of Gentry
Project Area: 11,037 sqf existing, 933 sqf new
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Fulbright Building Addition / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

Respecting the quality of the original design of the building, as well as concerns from the community, the structure has remained relatively untouched. The generating idea or theme for the design of the renovation and additions to the Fulbright Building Fayetteville is a ‘ship in a bottle’, defining the juxtaposition and materiality of the new interior spaces in relation to the existing steel structural grid and a new custom glass infill storefront system that wraps the upper floor of the building.

Follow the break for a full project description and more photographs.

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas,
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Srygley Office Building / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Tim Hursley

Situated on a 3/4-acre lot in a small office park and housing a small privately owned financial lending company, the structure is sited in opposition to the prevailing orientation of other offices with their front façade to the street. This is a building made of tough materials on its exterior, but gives way to a more refined and enriched interior. Stretching north to south the building’s concrete block base is inflected at the center of its east elevation to provide a ‘slipped entry’, an extended void, for people to slide between an angled sandblasted concrete block wall and a metal clad shell – an industrial exoskeleton – that acts as both wall and roof.

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: , , USA
Project Team: Marlon Blackwell, Gail Shepherd (project architect), Meryati Johari, Julie Chambers, Chris Baribeau, Matthew Griffith
Interiors: Marlon Blackwell Architect, Tom Chandler and Associates
Structural Engineer: Butch Green
Mechanical Engineer: Tim Geary and Associates
Contractors: EWI Constructors, Inc.
Owner: Bob Srygley
Project Area: 4,125 sqf
Photographs: Tim Hursley

Porchdog House / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Timothy Hursley

The Model Homes are affordable prototype houses designed for the Architecture for Humanity Model Home Program. The program provides design services and financial assistance for families in East whose houses were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
The proposition of raising a home up to 11’ above the ground introduces several issues that challenge the traditional notion of the Gulf Coast streetscape and affiliated porch culture. Among these is the very concept of having a porch that is an extension of the interior space. In addition, the massing of a proportionally tall house speaks more of isolation than of the construct of meaningful social spaces through a series of houses enclosing the street. The PorchDog addresses these challenges while complying with new environmental, structural, and FEMA regulations.

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Biloxi, Mississippi,
Principal: Marlon Blackwell FAIA
Project Team: David Tanner, Chris Baribeau AIA, Matt Griffith, Jonathan Boelkins, Meryati Blackwell
Structural: Black Rock Engineering, Tatum-Smith Engineers Inc
General Contractor: Holder Construction Company
Owner/Client: Richard Tyler sponsored by Architecture for Humanity
Project Date: 2009
Photographs: Timothy Hursley

Arkansas House / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Tim Hursley

The challenge for the House was to reassemble a fire-damaged home and introduce possibilities for re-thinking the house’s spatial character by adding new elements. The design had to be completed in three weeks and the details were resolved after construction began – one fragment at a time. The architects were allowed to work only in the fire-damaged zones of the existing house (exterior and interior), leaving the remainder untouched beyond new windows and a new HVAC system.

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Project Team: Marlon Blackwell, Yume Rudzinski, Tony Patterson, Chris Baribeau, Matthew Griffith, Meryati Blackwell
Structural Engineer: Jim Gore
Mechanical Engineers: Tim Geary and Associates
Contractor: JW Enterprises
Interiors: Meredith Boswell, Ante Prima, Oscar Glottman
Photographs: Tim Hursley

Blessings Golf Clubhouse and Guardhouse / Marlon Blackwell Architect

© Tim Hursley

Located within the Ozark Mountains the Blessings Golf Clubhouse and Guardhouse is a stand-alone structure set at the base of the hill, with a footprint minimally contacting the land. Acting as a type of covered bridge from the north-facing mountain ridge into the Osage Indian archaeological preservation zone the building creates an entry portal that operates as a breezeway framing the eighteenth green. Conceived as an animate form, the building receives the visitor beneath its cool and shaded underbelly, not unlike the clefts and caves found in the nearby hills.

More photographs and drawings of the Blessing Gold Clubhouse and Guardhouse following the break.

Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Johnson, , USA
Principal in Charge: Marlon Blackwell
Project Architect: Gail Shepherd
Project Team: Meryati Johari-Blackwell, Chris M. Baribeau, Scott A. Scales, Tony Patterson, Matthew Griffith, Chuck Rotolo, Herb Crumpton, Jose Ribera, Julie Chambers
Landscape Architect: Ed Blake, The Landscape Studio
Interiors: Meredith Boswell
Engineers Structural: Tatum-Smith Engineers
MEP: HSA Engineering Consulting Services, Inc.
Lighting Design: John Rogers
Civil: CEI
General Contractor: May Construction (David Swain, Johnny Brewer)
Project Area: 21,700 sqf (Clubhouse), 6,500 sqf (Cartbarn), 192 sqf (Guardhouse)
Project Year: 2005
Photographer: Tim Hursley