Today, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced Fayetteville, Arkansas–based Marlon Blackwell will receive the 2020 Gold Medal. This annual award—the organization’s highest honor—recognizes those whose work has had an enduring impact on the theory and practice of architecture. Blackwell, a speaker at RECORD’s 2019 Innovation Conference in October, is the AIA’s 75th Gold Medal winner.

Marlon Blackwell, Photo © Architectural Record

Blackwell, who received his B.Arch. from Auburn University in Alabama and M.Arch. from Syracuse University, has put Arkansas on the architectural map with an extensive body of work focused on benefiting local communities. Some of his notable projects in the region include the Harvey Pediatric Clinic (2017), the Northwest Arkansas Free Health Center (2014), and an addition to the Fay Jones School of Architecture (2014), where he is a distinguished professor.

In addition to the Gold Medal, the AIA also named Architecture Research Office (ARO) as the winner of its 2020 Architecture Firm Award. The New York–based firm is known for such projects as the Brooklyn Bridge Boathouse, the Riverdale Country School, and Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, all in New York, and is currently master planning the Rothko Chapel campus in Houston.