- Project Name
- Marygrove Early Education Center
- Marlon Blackwell Architects
- Marygrove Conservancy
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- Shared by
- Andrea Timpano
- Project Status
This project was selected as a winner in AIA's 2023 Architecture Awards.
Perennial AIA Award staple Marlon Blackwell Associates is back again in 2023 with its design for the Marygrove Early Education Center in Detroit. Since the closure of Marygrove College in 2019, the school’s longtime home in the Livernois/McNichols neighborhood has been under the care of a conservancy program charged with turning the elegant, thousand-acre campus into a community resource. Blackwell’s project represents the first concrete step toward that objective.
Intended to provide auxiliary classes and activities for underprivileged area schoolchildren, the building features attractive, brightly lit teaching rooms, meeting spaces, and both indoor and outdoor recreational amenities to create a comprehensive environment for learning on par with the best in education design today. Nurturing young bodies as well as minds, the project even boasts a sustainable vegetable garden as part of its sophisticated landscape design, which also includes a suite of verdant courtyards embedded within the structure. The building’s patchwork terra-cotta cladding (inspired by traditional crafts from Blackwell’s home state of Arkansas) makes for a pleasing, quasi-camouflage effect, allowing it to sit almost unnoticed alongside Marygrove’s historical Liberal Arts building.
Project: Marygrove Early Education Center, Detroit
Owner: Marygrove Conservancy
Architect: Marlon Blackwell Associates, Fayetteville, Ark.
Landscape Architect: Margie Ruddick Landscape
On-site Project Representation: Intoto Studio
Engineer - Civil: Giffels Webster
Engineer - MEP: Peter Basso Associates
Engineer - Structural: SDI Structures
Lighting Design: TM Light
Early Childhood Education Planning: Heidrun Hoppe Associates
AV/IT Consultant: Commtech Design
Envelope Consultant: Studio NYL
Accessibility Review: McIntosh Group
Specifications: Amy Baker Architect
Food Service: Stephens-Bangs Associates
General Contractor: Barton Malow Builders
This article first appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of ARCHITECT.