Design Award Winners (2021)

Sue Walk Burnett Journalism and Student Media Center

Project Overview

Located at one of the most active pedestrian zones on the University of Arkansas campus, this small addition places the student run UATV on display. It’s prominent site at the threshold of the historic campus elevates the identity of the Department of Journalism, but offered significant challenges being constructed on top of an existing 200 seat lecture hall below grade. The design response conveys simplicity and restraint, emphasizing a new, more welcoming pedestrian experience at the intersection.

An angled glass aperture breaks the broadcast’s “fourth wall,” allowing visitors to observe activities within, while framing camera views of the historic campus beyond. Entry to the original building was hidden by large planters at the intersection. These were removed and replaced with a cascading stair leading to an upper terrace providing a place for students to connect with a sibling open space across the intersection.

The addition’s form is intentionally spare, contrasting with its surrounding historic neighbors, but with a nod to their slate roof shingles. It’s charcoal terracotta skin is taut, revealing only two interior spaces – the studio itself, and master control. After sundown, light spills onto the adjacent street from these spaces signaling the dedication of journalism to the community.