Marlon Blackwell, Marlon Blackwell Architects
Recorded: October 8, 2014
Marlon Blackwell established his eponymous Fayetteville, Arkansas, practice in 1990 with a design philosophy that is rooted in “strategies that draw upon vernacular and the contradictions of place.” Operating with the belief that “architecture can happen anywhere, at any scale, and at just about any budget,” the firm has been recognized for works regionally and nationally, always beginning a project with attentiveness to the environmental, cultural, and material qualities of place.
His Current Work lecture, “Figures and Types,” details Blackwell’s design influences and traces the evolution of his firm through ten projects, from the Keenan TowerHouse, an 80-foot-tall structure completed in 2000, to his in-progress work on the visitor center and facilities at Shelby Farms Park in Memphis. He then turns his attention to four recently completed works in Arkansas: the Gentry Public Library, the Fulbright Building, the St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Steven L. Anderson Design Center at the University of Arkansas.
Blackwell’s self-described “common sense” approach to architecture pairs careful attention to detail and refined craft with a commitment to projects that “enrich and dignify the experience of being in the world” — design that promotes civic dignity.
The Current Work series invites significant international figures who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment to present their work and ideas to a public audience.