Vol Walker Hall and the Steven L. Anderson Design Center

Vol Walker Hall and the Steven L. Anderson Design Center

Awards Won

Honor Award 2014
Members Choice Award 2014


Fayetteville, AR


Marlon Blackwell Architects and Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects

Project Team

Project Team:
MBA Project Team
Marlon Blackwell Architect, FAIA
Meryati Johari Blackwell, AIA, NCIDQ, ASID
David Jaehning, AIA
Jonathan Boelkins, AIA
William Burks, Assoc. AIA
Angela Carpenter
Bradford Payne, Assoc. AIA
Michael Pope, AIA
Stephen Reyenga, Assoc. AIA
Mark Herrmann AIA
Joe Stanley, AIA, Principal
Craig Curzon, AIA, Principal
Reese Rowland, AIA, Principal
Wesley Walls, AIA, Principal
Kimberly Braden Prescott, ASID
Christopher Thomas, AIA
Sarah Menyhart Bennings, AIA
Michelle Teague, AIA
Conley Fikes, AIA
Jim Thacker
John Dupree, AIA
J.B. Mullins, AIA
Laura Lyo
Meryati Johari Blackwell, AIA, ASID
Kimberly Prescott, ASID
Crafton Tull Sparks
Baldwin & Shell Construction Company

Kenneth Jones & Associates, Inc.
TME, Inc.
Development Consultants, Inc.
Renfro Design Group
Grubbs Hoskyn Barton & Wyatt, Inc
John Milner Associates, Inc.
Clarkson Consulting, Inc.
Dr. Tahar Messadi
Marlon Blackwell Architect and Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects.
Heitmann & Associates, Inc.
LCM Architects.
RediCheck North. LLC.

Photo Credit

Timothy Hursley

Project Overview

Vol Walker HallThe 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 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 stairwells are located 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. By correcting these problems through careful detailing, a central gathering space was created to unite old and new, focused around an oculus that provides daylight. 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.