TheatreSquared building picks up two more architecture awards

(All photos: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer)

A building in downtown Fayetteville recently picked up a couple prestigious architecture awards.

TheatreSquared officials were notified that their building at 477 W. Spring St. in Fayetteville will receive the 2023 American Institute of Architects (AIA) NY Design Merit Award and the 2023 USITT Architecture Award when those are announced later this spring.

The NY Design Merit Award is an annual juried competition by the institute’s oldest chapter considering all architecture built either in New York City, or by New York City-based architects around the world. The award will officially be presented on April 20 at a banquet event on Wall Street, and designs and photos of the theater will be on display at a four-month exhibit at the Center for Architecture.

The USITT Architecture Awards Program recognizes architectural projects that provide design excellence and the ability to resolve design challenges presented in large and small projects for old and new theaters, according to their website. The award T2 received will be given at the organization’s annual conference in St. Louis in March.

The awards aren’t the first for T2’s facility. The building also won the 2020 American Architecture Award, the 2020 AIA New York State Honor Award, the 2021 International Architecture Award, and a 2020 Interior Design Best of Year honor.

“We’ve created an amazing gathering space, but we don’t own it,” said Robert Ford, T2’s artistic director. “TheatreSquared belongs to everyone who lives in Northwest Arkansas—the artists, audiences, and community members who activate it every day. We hope this welcome drumbeat of international recognition will help to inspire our local leaders and key supporters to continue investing in this cultural asset for all of Northwest Arkansas, for generations to come.”

The building was designed by Marvel Architects, along with lead consultant and theatre designer Charcoalblue with support from the Walton Family Foundation’s Design Excellence Program. The $31 million, 50,000-square-foot facility includes two theaters, education and community space, rehearsal and meeting areas, outdoor gather spaces, a bar/cafe, and more.

Other features of the space include board-formed architecture concrete wrapping the outside of the building that create acoustic isolation when the train passes nearby, a glass-enclosed flexible performance space and eight guest artist apartments.

Design on the building began in 2015, construction kicked off in 2017, and the building opened with the first performances in 2019.