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Inaugural Pool of Designers Selected for Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program

October 7, 2015

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (Oct. 7, 2015) – The Walton Family Foundation selected 36 firms for its inaugural pool of designers for the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program. The announcement concludes a two-month nationwide search for innovative designers that will contribute to the future of the urban landscape in Northwest Arkansas.

“We are extremely pleased with the level of talent exhibited by the architecture and landscape architecture designers chosen for the program’s first year,” said Walton Family Foundation Home Region Program Director Karen Minkel. “Our extensive review process, led by reputable industry professionals, will give our grantees access to high-caliber design that meets the needs of these public-use buildings and enhances Northwest Arkansas’ urban fabric.”

The 36 firms selected represent 13 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The list includes four Arkansas-based firms, 11 firms from the south central region of the country, and eight firms ranked among top 300 in the nation, according to The Architectural Record 2015 rankings.

2015 Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program Firms

Anmahian Winton ArchitectsCambridge, MA
Alta Planning and Design*Davidson, NC
Bing Thom ArchitectsVancouver, BC
Brian Healy ArchitectsSomerville, MA
Brininstool + LynchChicago, IL
David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc. Washington, D.C.
De Leon & Primmer Architecture WorkshopLouisville, KY
Deborah Berke PartnersNew York, NY
DLAND Studio Architecture and Landscape Architecture*Brooklyn, NY
Duvall Decker ArchitectsJackson, MS
Ennead ArchitectsNew York, NY
Eskew+Dumez+RippleNew Orleans, LA
GrimshawNew York, NY
GWWO, Inc./ArchitectsBaltimore, MD
HBRA ArchitectsChicago, IL
HGA Architects and EngineersMinneapolis, MN
KieranTimberlakePhiladelphia, PA
Lake-FlatoSan Antonio, TX
Louise Braverman ArchitectNew York, NY
LTL Architects New York, NY
Marlon Blackwell ArchitectsFayetteville, AR
Martinez + Johnson ArchitectureWashington, D.C.
Marvel Architects New York, NY
Meyer, Scherer & RockcastleMinneapolis, MN
Michael Van Valkenburgh Architects*Brooklyn, NY
Modus StudioFayetteville, AR
Overland PartnersSan Antonio, TX
Polk Stanley Wilcox ArchitectsLittle Rock, AR
Rice+Lipka ArchitectsNew York, NY
Robert A.M. Stern ArchitectsNew York, NY
Robert Sharp Architects & Massengale Architecture PLLCFayetteville, AR | NY, NY
Schwartz/Silver ArchitectsBoston, MA
Spackman Mossop Michaels*New Orleans, LA
Stoss Landscape Urbanism*Boston, MA
Trahan ArchitectsNew Orleans, LA
WXY Architecture + Urban DesignNew York, NY

A smaller group of firms from this list will be chosen by the selection committee for the three pilot projects previously announced in September. Those projects include a new 51,500-square-foot performance arts space for TheatreSquared in downtown Fayetteville, a 28,000-square-foot adaptive reuse building for the Rogers Historical Museum in downtown Rogers and a new 35,000-square-foot facility and half-acre playground for the Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center in Bentonville. Each grantee will independently select the final firm and design.

The companies selected for 2015 pool will remain in the program for five years or until they are selected for a project. The program will host an annual open-submission process that will likely happen in the fall of each year.

A panel of distinguished professionals and educators served on the selection committee and evaluated the proposals.

The selection committee includes Victor Dover, principal-in-charge at Miami-based Dover, Kohl & Partners; Peter MacKeith, professor and dean of the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design; Elizabeth Meyer, professor and dean of the University of Virginia School of Architecture; Karen Minkel, Home Region Program director for the Walton Family Foundation; and Cynthia Weese, founding principal of Chicago-based Weese Langley Weese Architects, Ltd.

More information on the Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program and its guiding design principles can be found at

* Landscape architecture firm