THE MEDITATIVE ARCHITECTURE OF MARLON BLACKWELL

IMG_9850

IMG_9860-002

St. Nicolas Eastern Church  Fayetteville, Arkansas

 

In a hive of architectural design like Toronto, you get the distinct impression that we’re blasting away from life as it was until quite recently. Sheer glass, astronomical size and eye-popping details comprise a way out rather than a way back in.

The design practice of Lafayette, Arkansas-based, Marlon Blackwell, has concluded that such an evacuation is not the best route to the future. He is (almost) as intent upon the need for change as his flashier colleagues; but his vision requires active involvement of physical and historical givens in order to display the most fertile constructions.

Shown here is a design opportunity touched by not only that interest in fusion but also touched by a less than mega-bucks market. Blackwell was approached by a Greek Orthodox church in his home base which had to make do with this less than fabulous structure while at the same time concerned about apt beauty and dignity.  

 

 

IMG_9863

St. Nicolas Eastern Church (Interior)  Fayetteville, Arkansas

 

At Blackwell’s presentation for last Friday’s IDS Professional Trade Day in Toronto, he offered up a great illustration of what kind of connection the past and future could muster. Explaining that a cathedral was not on the board, he narrowed things down to the articulated space central to a place of worship, forming a slice of continuous history.

 

 

 

IMG_9864

St. Nicolas Eastern Church (Exterior) Fayetteville, Arkansas

The incisive little highlights are informed by caring for the occasion.

 

 

 

IMG_9856

Blessing Golf Clubhouse

 

Commissioned to provide a golf clubhouse for a form of the grand old game nestled into the Ozarks, Blackwell was concerned to engage the ancient countryside by way of what he calls a “breezeway” (at the 18th green); and, at the same time, provide a cooling and shaded underbelly. (Has he also used the witty conceit of the head of a putter?)

 

 

 

fhc-one

Free Health Centre in Fayetteville, Arkansas

 

This upgrade of the grotty service bid of a clinic has its eyes firmly focused on the mission of openness between the administration and the patients. There are upgraded wood plank boxes forming a series of waiting areas. “The ideals and the mission of the Centre are embodied in the care and craftsmanship executed in the design.”

 

 

 

kt-one

Keenan Tower House  Fayetteville, Arkansas

 

Kicking up a notch (or two) that long narrow and rural Civil War Era Southern house, our architect/artist chops it in half and rigs it as a town house, just right for a modern getaway by which to really ruminate on the ancient hills and forests as compatible with mysterious, modern spaces.

 

 

1

Porch Dog House

 

In face of the need, exposed by Hurricane Katrina, to offset flooding in the Gulf area of the South (here, specifically, Biloxi, Mississippi), Blackwell proposes the traditional New Orleans “shotgun house” be cut in half and stacked up to form a structure elevated by 2 meter long struts.

 

 

 

imavp-one

Visitor Pavilion for Indianapolis Museum of Art

 

For a project (the visitor pavilion of the Indianapolis Museum of Art) spanning a woodsy area and a cosmopolitan art museum, the architect derived all the building material from the pre-existing woodland. Cherishing an Indiana past and linking it with a world historical future!

Share Button
Like this:Like
Be the first one who likes this post!
This entry was posted in Current Events, Industrial Design and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

(Spamcheck Enabled)