Vol Walker Hall & The Steven L Anderson Design Center

PrizePlatinum in Architectural Design / Educational Buildings
Firm Location, United States
CompanyMarlon Blackwell Architects
Lead ArchitectMarlon Blackwell Architects with Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects
Design Team Marlon Blackwell Architects:Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, Principal in Charge and Design Architect.David Jaehning, AIA, Project managerMeryati Johari Blackwell, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID, LEED AP BD+CJonathan Boelkins, AIAWilliam Burks, Assoc. AIAStephen Reyenga, Assoc. AIAMichael Pope, AIABradford Payne, Assoc. AIAAngela CarpenterPolk Stanley Wilcox Architects:Mark Herrmann AIA, Associate Principal in Charge and Project Manager Joe Stanley, AIA, PrincipalCraig Curzon, AIA, PrincipalReese Rowland, AIA, PrincipalWesley Walls, AIA, PrincipalKimberly Braden Prescott, ASID, Director of InteriorsChristopher Thomas, AIASarah Menyhart Bennings, AIAMichelle Teague, AIAConley Fikes, AIAJim Thacker
ClientUniversity of Arkansas, Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
Project Videohttp://

The addition and renovation to the Fay Jones School of Architecture in Vol Walker Hall at the University of Arkansas is a complex but resolute hybrid of a beautifully restored historical building (65,000 SF), and a modern addition and insertion (37,000 SF). The expanded facility unites all departments – architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design – under one roof, allowing for more multi-disciplinary and collaborative work. The restoration instills new life in Vol Walker Hall, the campus’s original library, built in 1935, and home to the School of Architecture since 1968. Stack spaces at the center of the building were removed to make room for the addition and allow for a proper west entry, restoring circulation through the building along the main axis of the University. New twin glass enclosed stairwells establish a formal joint between the restoration and addition, connecting old and new and delivering daylight and activity into the center of the building. Before the transformation, the central gallery did not function well due to poor light and acoustic quality. The renovated Central Gallery features an oculus set into a back-lit Newmat (stretched fabric) ceiling and acoustic panels on the perimeter walls that double as pin-up space. Studio and critique spaces are provided throughout the addition, as well as a new 200 seat auditorium that descends to become visible from nearby sidewalks. The addition’s roof terrace features a green roof for instruction and an outdoor classroom. Post-tensioned, architectural concrete construction and Indiana limestone rainscreen give the addition weight and substance that honor its historic counterpart. A fritted glass brise soleil screens the intense western sunlight, while the custom steel curtain wall is used to illustrate construction methods, detailing, and environmental strategies.