Anthony Timberlands Center project innovates in Windgate district


Courtesy of Grafton Architects.

Render of the exterior view of the current design of the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation, at the University of Arkansas – part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design held a groundbreaking ceremony for its latest addition, the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation on Friday, November 5.

Located in the Windgate Art and Design District, the structure will be a center of excellence for innovation in wood design and product development to expand the use of wood and wood sourced from Arkansas in the architectural design, construction techniques and product design.

The $ 26.5 million, nearly 45,000 square foot building will feature a high-rise fabrication shop, studios, seminar and conference rooms, faculty offices and outdoor terraces. The center will also include a small auditorium and a public exhibition space. This project is designed and built according to LEED Gold standards.

The planned center will serve as the epicenter for Fay Jones School’s multiple lumber and lumber design initiatives, house the school’s existing and expanding design-build program and manufacturing technology labs, and serve new focus to the school’s emerging graduate program in wood and wood design.

“The Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation will be an important and beautiful addition to our campus,” said Acting Chancellor Charles Robinson. “This facility will create meaningful learning opportunities for our students and open up new avenues of discovery and applied research for our faculty. The knowledge created here will soon be applied to help solve pressing issues in Arkansas and beyond. Our sincere thanks to the Anthony family and everyone who helped make this moment possible. ”

“An innovation – or in our case, a riser – for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation is cause for celebration for all in Fay Jones School and the U of A community,” said Peter MacKeith , dean of the school. . “The project embodies the aspirations, goodwill, generosity and dedicated commitment of so many people across the state: it truly is a collaborative endeavor. I am grateful to John Ed and Isabel Anthony for their gift and vision of leadership, to the administration of the University of Alberta for their constant parallel commitment, and to the many friends and benefactors who have come together to support this mission. stratified, educational, environmental and economic. . “


The Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation is designed by Grafton Architects, of Dublin, Ireland, in partnership with Modus Studio of Fayetteville. Grafton Architects is led by co-founders Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, recipients of the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize and the 2020 Royal Gold Medal for Architecture.

The design team was selected after a process of several months, unlike anything that had been done before for a U of A building. The Fay Jones School launched an international design competition that was funded in large part by a grant from the US Forest Service and the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities.

A total of 69 companies from 10 countries responded to the university’s architects qualification request at the end of 2019. From these submissions, six finalist companies were selected to design design proposals for the new research center. In early 2020, the External Assessment Team and State University Campus Review Committee recommended Modus Studio with Grafton Architects as the project team. The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees approved the design team selection in March 2020.

“In Dublin, when we read the competition documents for this project, we were impressed by the description of the University of Arkansas, as a patron of solid timber buildings, and by the approach of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design in sustainability and wood research at the University. We were also impressed with the clear instructions that Arkansas lumber and wood products should be considered for the structure, for the wrap-around envelope and for the interior surfaces and furnishings of the building, ”said said Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.

The center will include areas for woodworking and metal fabrication, an external fabrication yard and a 3D printing lab. It will be equipped with a 5-axis CNC router, a large format laser cutter, a large format water jet and articulated robotic arms. The gantry will have a capacity of 5 tonnes.

There will also be an auditorium, exhibition gallery, administration room, Anthony’s Way entrance courtyard, outdoor terraces, and areas for grant and research work. The flexible studio spaces will accommodate 125 design students.

Over 62,000 cubic feet of lumber are used in the project. The landscaping will include native species such as black gum, tulip poplar, aquatic oaks, sycamores, maples and pines.

Farrell and McNamara said Grafton Architects worked closely with Fay Jones School and the university, with Modus Studio and all members of the design team, as well as Nabholz Construction Corporation, to achieve this milestone in this project. project.

“The competition materials referred to Arkansas’ identity as one of deep pragmatism that appreciates poetic beauty, describing the vision of the Anthony Timberlands Center as” a judicious balance between utility and poetry, between restraint and expressiveness. “. Everyone involved is striving to translate this vision into a reality of wood, ”they said.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2022 and substantial completion of the project is expected by 2024.


University of Arkansas alumnus John Ed Anthony and his wife Isabel are contributing $ 7.5 million to support the construction of this new center focused primarily on innovation in wood design and in wood. He is President of Anthony Timberlands Inc.

Other support for the new center comes from:

  • Former student Ken Shollmier and his wife, Linda Sue, of Little Rock, who pledged $ 1 million to the facility.
  • Ray and Deborah Dillon of Little Rock, whose million-dollar donation will be split between the Anthony Timberlands Center and a new design and innovative wood-and-wood feature chair for the school.
  • Former student Tom Rowland, who names the Anthony Timberlands Center exhibit gallery with a real estate gift of $ 317,000.
  • Modus Studio of Fayetteville, which contributes $ 250,000 to the center, and will have the seminar and conference room named after the company.
  • The Nabholz Charitable Foundation, which pledged $ 100,000 to support the center. A specific nomination opportunity in recognition of their generosity will be determined at a later date.

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design: The Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas houses undergraduate professional design programs in architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design as well as liberal studies programs. The school also offers a master’s degree in design studies, with concentrations in resilience design, integrated wood design, and retail and hospitality design. All of these programs combine training in studio design with innovative instruction in history, theory, technology and urban design. A wide range of courses equip graduates with the knowledge and critical agility needed to meet the challenges of designing for a changing world. Their training prepares students for critical frameworks for conceptual thinking that also prepares them for leadership roles in the profession and in their communities. The Design Intelligence The 2019 School Rankings Survey ranked the school among the most hired schools of architecture, landscape architecture and interior design, ranking 10th, 14th and eighth respectively, as well as 28th among the top schools. most admired architectural schools.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers internationally competitive education in over 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes to more than $ 2.2 billion for the Arkansas economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the top 3% of US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. American News and World Report ranks the U of A among the best public universities in the country. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

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