Posts tagged with "Bentonville":

Wheeler Kearns to design experimental art space for Crystal Bridges Museum

Bentonville, Arkansas will soon be home to a new art space designed by Chicago-based Wheeler Kearns Architects. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has announced plans to convert a former Kraft cheese factory in Bentonville into new gallery space for unconventional programming. Like MoMA’s PS1 in Queens, New York, this venue will facilitate the showing of temporary, interactive, and performance art in a less formal setting. The museum’s permanent collection is currently displayed in a Moshe Safdie-designed building that bridges natural spring ponds in a forested setting. The museum grounds are also home to the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Bachman-Wilson House, which was moved from its original location along the Millstone River in New Jersey. The new exhibition space will take on a much different feel than the polished Safdie galleries. The former factory will be allowed to maintain much of its industrial character throughout its 63,000 square feet. The new space's downtown location will also distinguish it from the museum's more rural main campus. The biggest difference, however, will be the way in which art is displayed and created in the space. In addition to film screenings and performances of music and theatre, the former factory will host a new multi-disciplinary artists-in-residence program. As such, Wheeler Kearns plans to design the space to be flexibly-used. Crystal Bridges will also collaborate with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) to develop the programing for the space. The Walton Family Foundation, Wal-Mart's philanthropic group, was heavily involved in the creation of Crystal Bridges. Steuart and Tom Walton—grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton—are leading the foundation’s support the new space. Both have served on the museum's Board of Directors. The yet-to-be-named exhibition space is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

A wide array of architects chosen by Walmart owners for Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program

The Walton Family Foundation has chosen a group of 36 design firms comprising architects and landscape architects to be part of their Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program in a bid to boost the standard of architecture in the up and coming area of Northwest Arkansas. A smaller, more refined group of practices from this pool will be chosen by a selection committee at a later date for three pilot projects announced early in September. Those pilot projects are: TheatreSquared in downtown Fayetteville; a 28,000-square-foot adaptive reuse building for the Rogers Historical Museum in downtown Rogers; and a new 35,000-square-foot facility and half-acre playground for the Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center (HWCEC) in Bentonville. The announcement wraps up a two-month, country-wide search for designers that will shape the new urban landscape in Northwest Arkansas. “We are extremely pleased with the level of talent exhibited by the architecture and landscape architecture designers chosen for the program’s first year,” said Walton Family Foundation Home Region Program Director Karen Minkel in a press release. “Our extensive review process, led by reputable industry professionals, will give our grantees access to high-caliber design that meets the needs of these public-use buildings and enhances Northwest Arkansas’ urban fabric.”
Anmahian Winton Architects Cambridge, MA
Alta Planning and Design* Davidson, NC
Bing Thom Architects Vancouver, BC
Brian Healy Architects Somerville, MA
Brininstool + Lynch Chicago, IL
David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc. Washington, D.C.
De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop Louisville, KY
Deborah Berke Partners New York, NY
DLAND Studio Architecture and Landscape Architecture* Brooklyn, NY
Duvall Decker Architects Jackson, MS
Ennead Architects New York, NY
Eskew+Dumez+Ripple New Orleans, LA
Grimshaw New York, NY
GWWO, Inc./Architects Baltimore, MD
HBRA Architects Chicago, IL
HGA Architects and Engineers Minneapolis, MN
KieranTimberlake Philadelphia, PA
Lake-Flato San Antonio, TX
Louise Braverman Architect New York, NY
LTL Architects New York, NY
Marlon Blackwell Architects Fayetteville, AR
Martinez + Johnson Architecture Washington, D.C.
Marvel Architects New York, NY
Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle Minneapolis, MN
Michael Van Valkenburgh Architects* Brooklyn, NY
Modus Studio Fayetteville, AR
Overland Partners San Antonio, TX
Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects Little Rock, AR
Rice+Lipka Architects New York, NY
Robert A.M. Stern Architects New York, NY
Robert Sharp Architects & Massengale Architecture PLLC Fayetteville, AR | NY, NY
Schwartz/Silver Architects Boston, MA
Spackman Mossop Michaels* New Orleans, LA
Stoss Landscape Urbanism* Boston, MA
Trahan Architects New Orleans, LA
WXY Architecture + Urban Design* New York, NY
  • * denotes a landscape architecture firm.

Walmart heirs hope the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program will ramp up architectural standards in the state

In a bid to bolster an economic and population boom in Northwest Arkansas, plans are afoot to shore up and streamline the region’s architecture and landscape design. The Walton Family Foundation recently announced the launch of the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program, in which previously vetted architects and public-space projects will receive financial support from the foundation at every stage of the design phase. The selection committee of distinguished architecture professionals and educators will earmark projects that are sustainable, contribute to the region’s walkability and, most of all, inspire a “sense of place.” While Northwest Arkansas comprises four cities—Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville—the program will be concentrated in the Benton and Washington counties, whose income per capita, while $2,000 shy of the national average, oustrips the other cities in the region by nearly 20 percent. “I think the interest within the building and design community has never been higher,” said Karen Minkel, Home Region program director at the Walton Family Foundation. “It seems like every week there’s an article about a downtown masterplan. I think there’s a general interest across the region. This program provides resources to grantees in that they can think carefully about how their project can contribute to the overall sense of place.” The program’s winning formula consists of complementing the public welfare objectives of school districts, county, state, and local municipalities and nonprofits with the cutting-edge design smarts of world-class architects, who will be handpicked for their ability to identify with the region’s character. Columbus, Indiana, stands as an exemplar of the power of nonprofits to raise the image of a city through design standards. An architecture aficionado and the former Chairman and CEO of Cummins, J. Irwin Miller started the Cummins Foundation’s architecture program in 1960, beginning with grants disbursed to schools in the town’s outskirts. It later spurred unprecedented designs like the glass-fronted, half-moon Columbus City Hall by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Eliel Saarinen’s strikingly modern First Christian Church, now city emblems. Meanwhile, Northwest Arkansas’ bragging rights include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, designed by Moshe Safdie, the 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville by Deborah Berke, the award-winning Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs by Faye Jones, and the Garland Center in Fayetteville by Knowles Blunck Architecture. Minkel relishes the idea of “complementing and reinvigorating the history of architectural design in the region, and the idea that it will become part of the vernacular and we can reinterpret it in different ways.” Like the Cummins program, the Walton Family Foundation foresees attracting and retaining top human resources as a byproduct of next-level design, an economic driver and a bid to raise the city’s architectural profile. “The program in Columbus, Indiana, has become a tourist mecca. We think this program can potentially benefit tourism in the region,” said Minkel. “If we talk about how it can contribute to sense of place and the overall urban fabric, that’s what’s attracting people to our overall downtown area and that’s what adding to our identity.” Interested architects have until September 16 to submit material for review. Applications should include a letter of interest, examples of five past projects, and the firm’s approach to creating a sense of place. For more information, visit the foundation's website.

Marlon Blackwell Weaves Plywood At The Crystal Bridges Museum

Fabrikator

Marlon Blackwell uses ribbed ceiling to evoke craft while mitigating contemporary challenges at Arkansas museum.

The setting for the gift shop at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art seems idyllic—a vast glass wall opens onto a entry courtyard that gives way to a placid pond reflecting the Ozarks landscape. But to create a design for the 3,100 square-foot space in Bentonville, Arkansas, architect Marlon Blackwell had to overcome multiple hurdles. The first: a thicket of concrete columns supporting the green roof of the Moshe Safdie-designed building. Next: the west-facing glass wall, which made heat gain an issue. And finally: the very small budget (the total project cost was $644,000).
  • Fabricator UDI
  • Architect Marlon Blackwell Architect
  • Location Bentonville, Arkansas
  • Date of Completion  Late 2011
  • Material   Cherry plywood
  • Process  AlphaCAM CAD/CAM 3-D modeling, CNC routing
Blackwell’s solution to all three problems was a concept inspired in part by local Arkansas basket weaver Leon Niehues, whose work is now sold in the museum shop. Niehues’ pieces are distinguished by their vertical “ribs.” The wrapper of rib-like forms devised by Blackwell begins at the top of the exterior glass wall, where it acts as a sunscreen, and extends across the ceiling and down the long eastern interior wall where shelving is integrated into the system. Made of locally sourced cherry plywood, the final effect is less wicker-work and more chanterelle—Blackwell’s ribs, which span roughly 30 feet, evoke the gills on the underside of a mushroom cap. But the arc-shaped plan of the building complicated matters. “It was a curved volume, so we couldn’t reference a radius,” said Blackwell. “We used straight lines, which looks great but demanded that each rib had to be slightly different.” Each of the 223 undulating ribs is composed of up to four segments of joined planks 8 inches wide and 3/4-inches thick. Using 3-D modeling and AlphaCAM CAD/CAM software, Blackwell’s team translated the design to CNC routers in the millwork shop of Adam Weaver at UDI Inc, in Rogers, Arkansas. Weaver deployed two routers at once to stay on deadline—an Onsrud CNC and a Northwood CNC—and an optimizer insured that there was as little wasted material as possible. From 480 sheets of plywood emerged the 700 cut pieces for the ribs, each inscribed with a number and with the screw holes and the overlapping joins pre-cut. Once the material was delivered to the site, the contractors used a plum line and a laser to align then suspend components from the ceiling. The ribs gradually took shape one piece at a time. “It was like stacking stone,” said Blackwell, noting that everything snapped into place in under six weeks during construction in 2011. The rib system filters out up to 40 percent of the daylight and not only finesses the existing concrete columns but also conceals sprinklers and the store’s lighting system. Blackwell use of cherry planks for the floor creates a unified and warm space that complements the wares on display for only $200 per square foot.