AIA’s 2020 Gold Medal goes to Marlon Blackwell

Yearly, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) bestows the Gold Medal, the group’s highest annual honor, upon a practitioner who has had “a long-lasting affect on the idea and observe of structure.” For 2020, that award is going to Marlon Blackwell, an architect who abides by the mantra: “Structure can occur anyplace, on any scale, at any funds.”

Marlon Blackwell drawing on paper at desk.

Marlon Blackwell.
Mark Jackson

Based mostly in Fayetteville, Arkansas, his agency, Marlon Blackwell Architects, is understood for community-centered buildings that harness the panorama in addition to easy kinds. Constructed over three many years, a big physique of labor, largely in Northwest Arkansas, consists of the Harvey Pediatric Clinic in Rogers, Arkansas, and St. Nicholas Japanese Orthodox Church in Springdale, Arkansas—formidable buildings which might be deeply rooted of their environment.

“His is a uniquely American structure,” wrote Canadian architect Brian MacKay-Lyons in help of Blackwell’s nomination for the award. “He builds confidently upon the American cultural panorama. It’s related to society, reasonably than being aloof. This isn’t a nostalgic structure, however an structure of its time and place.”

Blackwell can also be a celebrated educator, serving as as a distinguished professor, the E. Fay Jones chair, and division head of the Fay Jones Faculty of Structure and Design on the College of Arkansas.

Right here’s a take a look at a couple of of Blackwell’s main works, together with an affordable modern home featured in Curbed’s House Calls dwelling tour sequence.

A single-story house with black siding and grey stone.

This Marlon Blackwell Architects-designed modern home in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was constructed for beneath $200 per sq. foot.
Mark Jackson

St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church at dusk.

St. Nicholas Japanese Orthodox Church, Springdale, Arkansas.
Timothy Hursley courtesy AIA

A diagonal view at a rectilinear building with a large overhang.

Customer Heart at Shelby Farms Park, Memphis, Tennessee.
Timothy Hursley courtesy AIA

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