- Project Name
- Vol Walker Hall Renovation & The Steven L. Anderson Design Center
- Marlon Blackwell Architects
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- Year Completed
- Shared by
Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects,Landscape Architect: Crafton Tull Sparks,Lighting Designer: Renfro Design Group
- Project Status
“A complementary and progressive pairing of modern and traditional forms, the design is a didactic model, establishing a tangible discourse between the past and present while providing state-of-the-art-facilities for 21st-century architectural education.” —Jury statement
Marlon Blackwell Architects’ new project for the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design in Fayetteville, Ark., is an outstanding example of logistical and stylistic needle-threading. As so often happens on college campuses, a historic building—in this instance Vol Walker Hall, a 1935 edifice that was originally the university library—was in need of both extensive renovation and expansion, posing the perennial problem of bringing a facility up to date while still honoring its history. The maneuver performed by the Blackwell team—working with Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects—was also, in its general outline, a familiar one, but executed here with unwonted deftness: Looking to the symmetrical footprint of the Neoclassical scheme, the designers created a volume with a similar T-shaped plan and then inserted it, like a key in a lock, into the body of the older building.
Tasteful and minimal interventions into the original structure, such as the James Turrell–like skylight, bring the old library up to date and make its interiors blend seamlessly with the svelte all-modern hallways and studios of the extension (punctuated, in a few instances, by details in a stunning lipstick red). This conscientious intermingling of past and present is the more striking since, for all its subtlety, the project actually accomplishes a bold programmatic goal, uniting the full Fay Jones School’s curriculum of planning, architecture, and industrial design in a single space. In that regard, the continuity forged by the seamless design seems even more apposite, helping to weave the program into a cogent whole.
Project CreditsProject: Vol Walker Hall & the Steven L. Anderson Design Center
Client: University of Arkansas
Architect and Interior Designer of Record and Design Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architects, Fayetteville, Ark. Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, (principal-in-charge and design architect); David Jaehning, AIA (project manager); Meryati Johari Blackwell, AIA, Jonathan Boelkins, AIA, William Burks, Assoc. AIA, Stephen Reyenga, Assoc. AIA, Michael Pope, AIA, Bradford Payne, Assoc. AIA, Angela Carpenter (project team)
Associate Architect and Interior Designer: Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects, Little Rock, Ark. . Mark Herrmann, AIA, (associate principal-in-charge and project manager); Joe Stanley, AIA, Craig Curzon, AIA, Reese Rowland, AIA, Wesley Walls, AIA (principal); Kimberly Braden Prescott (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 team)
General Contractor/Construction Manager: Baldwin & Shell Construction Co.
Structural Engineer: Kenneth Jones & Associates
M/E/P Engineer: Bernhard Energy Solutions
Civil Engineer: Development Consultants
Geotechnical Engineer: Grubbs Hoskyn Barton & Wyatt
Landscape Architect: Crafton Tull
Lighting: Renfro Design Group
Preservation Consultant: MTFA Architecture
Concrete Consultant: Clarkson Consulting
Acoustics/Daylighting: Tahar Messadi
Curtainwall Consultant: Heitmann & Associates, Inc.
Accessibility Consultant: LCM Architects
Construction Document Coordination Review: RediCheck
Size: 90,955 square feet
FROM THE AIA:
The Steven L. Anderson Design Center is a contemporary addition to a carefully restored and renovated historical building, Vol Walker Hall, the University of Arkansas’s original library and home to the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design since 1968. The coupling of old and new creates a striking hybrid, invigorating the historical center of the university’s campus and revitalizing the educational environment of the School. The expanded facility unites all three departments – architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design – under one roof for the first time, reinforcing the School’s identity and creating cross-disciplinary, collaborative learning environments.
FROM THE 2018 AIA INSTITUTE HONOR AWARDS FOR ARCHITECTURE JURY:
A complimentary and progressive pairing of modern and traditional forms. Consistent orchestration of natural light and a sparse but powerful use of red to make landmark moments in the building is invigorating. Sets the opportunity for an interesting contrast between the old and new wings. The expanded facility unites all three departments – architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design – under one roof for the first time, reinforcing the School’s identity and creating a cross-disciplinary, collaborative learning environment. The overall design is a didactic model, establishing a tangible discourse between the past and present while providing state-of-the-art-facilities for 21st century architectural and design education. Every space seems equally well resolved, simple, elegant
FROM THE AIA:
Vol Walker Hall and the addition of the Steven L. Anderson Design Center for the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas is a complex but resolute hybrid of a historic restoration and a contemporary insertion and expansion.
Post-tensioned concrete and Indiana limestone honor the weight and substance of the historic, while the west-facing fritted glass brise-soleil and steel curtainwall create a contemporary figure. The overall design is a didactic model, establishing a tangible discourse between past and present, while providing state of the art facilities for 21st century architectural and design education.