Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, has won the 2020 Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). This is AIA’s highest annual honor, recognizing individuals whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.
Blackwell is being recognized for his body of transcendent work in the hills of Northwest Arkansas.
Blackwell’s work emerges from a deep understanding of site, landscape, art, and craft. His ‘glocal’ approach to architecture is reflected in his education, with studies at Auburn University and Syracuse University in Florence, AIA said.
His firm, Marlon Blackwell Architects, tackles projects that serve the common good, regardless of scale and budget, and has been recognized with more than 120 national and 14 international design awards.
“Every Marlon Blackwell design is a new lesson in the transformative ability of architecture to reveal the uniqueness of every site and give meaning to any program, to achieve an expressive clarity in strong and simple forms,” wrote Julie V. Snow, AIA, in a letter supporting Blackwell’s nomination. “In every way, across all measures, the work raises our expectations for our own architecture and teaches us it is possible to exceed what appears to limit us.”
Blackwell will be honored at the 2020 AIA Conference on Architecture in Los Angeles.