Marlon Blackwell is one of the nation’s most respected regional modernist architects. His practice takes place primarily in Arkansas and combines vernacular traditions with rigorous formalism. Throughout his body of work, nature has been a persistent inspiration and he strives to create spaces that respond to the physical and cultural eccentricities of a place. Working in the second poorest state in the country, Blackwell’s architecture uses an economy of means for a maximum of meaning and he makes spectacular buildings with very small budgets. His projects have ranged from a Honey House to the University of Arkansas School of Architecture to a spare orthodox church. He was the architect for the Ruth Lilly Visitor Pavilion and the Crystal Bridges Museum Store at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville. He is the principal at Marlon Blackwell Architects and the head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. Blackwell is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Architecture Prize, American Institute of Architects National Honor Award, the American Library Association Design Award the Best Civic and Community Building Award from the World Architecture Festival.
Portrait photo by Kat Wilson