marlon blackwell architect, fayetteville, ark.

The owner of this fire-damaged house wanted to restore whatever could be saved, but he also sought a better connection to its verdant surroundings. Marlon Blackwell, AIA, complied, building on the home's existing character with innovation and sensitivity, said our judges.

The architect added spaces that continue the original home's grid layout without using walls to define new rooms. Instead, “vertical light monitors organize open spaces and provide a sense of hierarchy,” Blackwell explains. “Moving through the house, you get the sense of going through layers of time.”

To enhance outdoor ties, a double-height great room runs almost the length of the yard, taking in light from all directions. Mezzanine loft areas permit a bird's-eye view while humanizing the scale of the large room below and reinforcing the addition's overall grid pattern. Large panels of glass make up most of the skin, with fill-ins of weathered steel. Computer-matched wood veneers clad interior ceilings and walls. Blackwell juxtaposed these materials to create an indoor-outdoor dialogue, expressing, he says, a “kind of rawness on the outside and more refinement inside.”

principal in charge / project architect: Marlon Blackwell, AIA, Marlon Blackwell Architect
general contractor: Jim Williams, JW Enterprises Inc., Fayetteville
landscape architect: Ed Blake, The Landscape Studio, Hattiesburg, Miss.
interiors: Meredith Boswell, Fayetteville, and Oscar Glottman, glottman anteprima, Miami
project size: 4,430 square feet
site size: Approximately 20 acres
construction cost: $338 per square foot
photography: Timothy Hursley