Ledger Stories: Architect of record Marlon Blackwell

Jul 18, 2022 | Ledger Stories

A closer look at our Architect of Record:

Marlon Blackwell 

Ledger’s design is a collaboration between talented minds from Marlon Blackwell Architects, Rojkind Arquitectos, and Callaghan Horiuchi. Marlon and his team have been shepherding the project through the construction and design phases and act as the architect of record. 

Join us as we take a deeper look into the infrastructure and mission behind the iconic design…

Founded in 1990, Marlon Blackwell Architects is an award-winning firm based in Fayetteville, AR. Their team has a shared passion for collaboration and challenging convention. If you’ve spent time in Northwest Arkansas, you’ve likely encountered several of their projects, including the Thaden School in Bentonville, Harvey Pediatric Clinic in Rogers, and Steven L. Design Center at the University of Arkansas (just to name a few).

Marlon Blackwell (Principal) and Meryati Johari Blackwell (Principal + Interior Design Director)

Architects Marlon Blackwell and Michel Rojkind have a relationship that dates back to the early 2000’s — both being masters in their fields, they have developed a great mutual respect for each other. Naturally, the opportunity to work on a project together was welcomed, however unusual: two groundbreaking architects setting aside their personal biases to prioritize a joint project in a breathtaking collaboration. Once the seed of the idea was planted, the two designers were able to come together to manifest the aspirations and particulars of the project while introducing their unique ideas. The designers were unified over the mutual understanding that ‘the project is larger than any one individual’, which uncoincidentally has become the heartbeat of Ledger. 

Marlon contributes any successful project to the “Three Legged Stool”: a great design team, great client and finally a great contractor. At Ledger, Marlon welcomed a proactive, hands-on owner who was fully invested in the project in addition to a contractor who saw the merits of something truly out-of-the-box and innovative. These qualities, in combination with the creative thinking of the collective design team allowed something truly unusual to blossom in downtown Bentonville. 

I get excited about the fact that I can interact with the building. I AM part of the story of the building. The building doesn’t work unless someone’s walking up it, riding up it, lingering in its shaded terraces or even smiling from the narrative of the Ozark creatures and jewels. YOU are a part of the story.” 

Atypical to standard architectural projects, Ledger has been designed with proximity in mind. 

“We have designed a downtown urban building that by its nature says it needs to be plugged into the bikeable/walkable city. It is a conduit for the public, inviting movement and engagement in all aspects of the building, inside and out.”

Ledger was also designed with multiprogramming in mind to allow for varied experiences. Because of its innovative nature, it is the type of building that can elevate and redefine people’s expectations of what architecture can be. Marlon believes architecture can expand, in a positive way, one’s understanding of reality and new possibilities in an existing world— and Ledger has proven just that. 

Bringing an alternative model to the workplace which is typically recognized as a mundane part of life, helps further anchor the concept of pushing the boundaries. Marlon emphasizes:

 “Pursuing innovation gives us permission to try new things and that expansion is marked with a sense of freedom. If you’re going to change people’s habitual way of seeing and engaging the world, you must provide alternative models and that has been our biggest achievement. What we are seeking is a ripple effect of new impactful mindsets through the current community ethos.” 

Marlon Blackwell has set out to deliver a sense of joy and delight to the Bentonville community through Ledger. A place for innovation. A place for productivity. A place for opportunity. A place for liberation. 



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