Local Firms Chosen for WFF Design Excellence Program

by Jennifer Joyner ([email protected]) 209 views 

After a two-month search, the Walton Family Foundation has selected a pool of 36 design teams for its Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program, and several local firms made the cut.

Marlon Blackwell Architect and Modus Studio, both of Fayetteville, were selected to be in the pool, and so was Robert Sharp Architect of Fayetteville, in partnership with the John Montague Massengale firm of New York City.

Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects of Little Rock, which has an office in Fayetteville, was also named to participate in the program.

The firms selected for the 2015 pool represent 13 states, Canada, and the District of Columbia. The firms will remain in the program for five years, or until they are selected for a project, according to the foundation.

A smaller group from this year’s list will be chosen by the selection committee for the three pilot projects previously announced in September:  a performance arts space for TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, the new Rogers Historical Museum, and a new facility and half-acre playground for the Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center in Bentonville.

After the pool has been narrowed down by the selection committee, each client will independently select the final firm and design, according to the foundation.

New Orleans firms chosen include Eskew+Dumez+Ripple, landscape architecture firm Spackman Mossop Michaels, and Trahan Architects.

There are two firms out of Boston: Schwartz/Silver Architects and Stoss Landscape Urbanism; two firms out of Chicago: Brininstool + Linch and HBRA Architects; two firms out of San Antonio: Lake-Flato and Overland Partners; two firms out of Minneapolis: HGA Architects and Engineers and Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle; and two firms from Washington, D.C: David M. Schwartz Architects Inc. and Martinez + Johnson Architecture.                         

“We are extremely pleased with the level of talent exhibited by the architecture and landscape architecture designers chosen for the program’s first year,” Karen Minkel, home region program director for the Walton Family Foundation, said 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 enhance Northwest Arkansas’ urban fabric.”

The program will host an annual open-submission process that will likely happen in the fall of each year.

More information on the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program can be found at www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org/design.