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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. University
  4. United States
  5. Marlon Blackwell Architects
  6. 2013
  7. Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L Anderson Design Center / Marlon Blackwell Architect

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

  • 00:00 - 11 December, 2013
Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L Anderson Design Center / Marlon Blackwell Architect
Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L Anderson Design Center / Marlon Blackwell Architect, © Timothy Hursley
© Timothy Hursley

© Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley © Timothy Hursley + 38

  • Architects

  • Location

    University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 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
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

      • Interior Design of Record

        Marlon Blackwell Architect - Meryati Johari Blackwell, Assoc. AIA, ASID Director of Interiors
      • Interior Design Associate

        Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects - Kimberly Prescott ASID Director of Interiors.
      • General contractor

        Baldwin & Shell Construction Company
      • Structural Engineer

        Kenneth Jones & Associates, Inc.
      • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection Engineer

        TME, Inc.
      • Civil Engineer

        Development Consultants, Inc
      • Landscape Architect

        Crafton Tull Sparks
      • Lighting Designer

        Renfro Design Group
      • Geotechnical Consultant

        Grubbs Hoskyn Barton & Wyatt, Inc
      • Preservation Consultant

        John Milner Associates, Inc.
      • Concrete Consultant

        Clarkson Consulting, Inc.
      • Acoustics and Daylighting Consultant

        Dr. Tahar Messadi
      • LEED Project Team

        Marlon Blackwell Architect and Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects.
      • Curtain Wall Consultant

        Heitmann & Associates, Inc.
      • Accessibility Consultant

        LCM Architects
      • Construction Document Coordination Review Consultants

        RediCheck North. LLC.
      • Owner

        University of Arkansas
      • Cost

      • More Specs Less Specs
      © Timothy Hursley
      © Timothy Hursley

      Text description provided by the architects. The Steven L. Anderson Design Center, a 37,000 square foot addition to Vol Walker Hall, designed by a collaboration of Marlon Blackwell Architects and Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, is intended to be a modern complement to the traditional architecture of Vol Walker Hall, sensitive to the past without being imitative of it and conceived to enhance the spatial character of the historic campus plan. To achieve these design goals, the addition was conceived in plan and massing to harmonize with Vol Walker Hall’s proportions and spatial configuration. The footprint of the addition replicates that of the traditional structure’s entry (eastern portico) wing, physically and conceptually balancing the old and the new.  Similarly, regulating lines established by the classical composition and rigorous proportions of string courses, cornice lines, traditional fenestration and moldings of Vol Walker Hall generated the organizational system for articulating and sizing the Indiana limestone panels that clad the north and south walls of the Anderson Design Center and the sleek fritted-glass panes, designed to ameliorate the harshness and heat of western light, that comprise its curtain wall. 

      Section  Through Fire Stairs
      Section Through Fire Stairs

      A visual sliver of glass in the north and south elevations, the transparent wells of its new fire-stairs, creates a respectful seam that negotiates the addition and the original structure from the exterior, yet, from the interior, frames and underscores the carefully calculated relationships between the two. Meticulously fabricated architectural concrete, together with the contextually fitting stone cladding, vest the addition with a gravitas, a feeling of weight and substance, that honors its historic counterpart. So too, the memory and dignity of Vol Walker Hall’s entry way, marked by triangular pediment and ionic pilasters, resonates in the contemporary articulation of the new addition’s western portal, graciously set back under a generous overhang, its tripartite glass doorway emulating with exactitude the proportions of the old entrance, visible in the distance with a glance through the grand promenade that connects the two spaces inside. Construction of the addition was facilitated by the removal of the long defunct and dysfunctional stack area of Vol Walker, an inhabitable relic of its original function as university library that defied rehabilitation.

      © Timothy Hursley
      © Timothy Hursley

      As its spatial envelope makes apparent, the Steven L. Anderson Design Center has increased significantly the Fay Jones School’s studio space—the very heart of a school of architecture. Studios occur on all floors, from ground level to the fourth floor. The Ken and Linda Sue Schollmier Lecture Hall, which rises from the first floor to the second floor of the addition’s northwest side, provides a state-of-the-art lecture hall that accommodates approximately 200 seats, as well as a “standing room” gallery.  On the southwest side of the main floor, the Fred and Mary Smith Exhibition Gallery and Terrace, anchors the addition—its tall windows creating a store-front like reference point that reveals the processes and products of design to the campus community and its graceful terrace, minimally articulated with slender concrete border and glass balustrade, projects out towards the familiar pathways of the historic campus plan.

      © Timothy Hursley
      © Timothy Hursley

      One of the most compelling architectural features of the addition is its fourth-floor sky terrace, which both affords a spectacular view of the Boston Mountains and, at closer range, provides a picture-window frame for observing nearby elements of the campus historic district, engaging a dialogue that extends beyond the discrete relationship of the Steven L. Anderson Design Center and Vol Walker Hall to the relationship of the addition with its gothic revival neighbors and the neo-traditional Mullins Library to the west. The fourth (upper-most) floor of the addition also includes a classroom, directly under the 20-feet long rectangular skylight that illuminates the second-floor gallery, another element that bridges historic and new fabric. A line of faculty offices marks the western edge of the plan, each with a view to the building’s green roof, a visible reminder of the ethics of sustainability that are central to the preservation ethos that provides the conceptual framework for this new construction.

      Section through Main Axis
      Section through Main Axis

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      Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
      About this office
      Marlon Blackwell Architects
      Cite: "Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L Anderson Design Center / Marlon Blackwell Architect" 11 Dec 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884