CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- January 24, 2017 – The Metal Construction Association (MCA) awarded Fayetteville Montessori Primary School in Fayetteville, Arkansas its 2016 Chairman’s Award in the Education – Primary and Secondary Schools category.

The Fayetteville Montessori Primary required a complete renovation, transforming an outdated suburban strip mall into a 9-classroom school building to fit seamlessly into the existing campus. The renovation, which was completed in 11 months for $132 per square foot, utilizes the original structure of the building, including the glass storefronts on two walls, which now provide expansive banks of natural light for classrooms.  Angled walls, conceived of as a carapace, drop in front of the windows to provide shade and visual separation from the street.  An addition on the north side of the building intersects the existing building, creating a dynamic corner framing two courtyards, used for outdoor play, between the old and the new.

A new elementary school, built in 2012, established a material language and identity for the campus. The existing materials, budget constraints, time constraints, and elegant detailing lead to the decision to use dark bronze box rib metal panel to unify the campus with a new aesthetic. The metal panel allowed lightweight, cantilevered, angled walls to fold down in front of the windows, providing shade and a visual separation from the street.  With custom corner details, the metal panel seamlessly navigated existing odd angles, and helped establish a material logic that integrated the existing structure and a three-classroom addition. The metal panel met the budget needs, and worked with established detailing and aesthetics from the elementary school, extending and unifying the campus.

“It’s really bold and creates a strong contemporary statement from a building that’s been recycled,” said MCA judge Mark Dewalt, AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois.

The award was announced at a special ceremony during the MCA Winter Meeting, held in Weston, Florida from January 23-25, 2017. The annual 3-day event fosters industry collaboration, networking and growth in the metal construction industry.

The Chairman’s Awards are given to the year’s most exceptional building projects involving MCA member companies based on overall appearance, significance of metal in the project, innovative use of metal, and the role of metal in achieving project objectives

Recipients for these awards are selected each year from projects submitted by MCA members to Metal Architecture Magazine’s annual Design Awards Program. The honorees were chosen by a panel of professional architects, which included Mark Dewalt, AIA, Principal, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Chicago, Illinois; Mark Horton, FAIA, Principal, Mark Horton/Architecture, San Francisco, California; and Brent Schipper, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, ASK Studio, Des Moines, Iowa.

The 2016 MCA Chairman’s Awards were given in eight categories: overall excellence; residential; metal roofing; education, primary and secondary schools; education, colleges and universities; institutional; municipal; and commercial/industrial.

Project Recognition

Building Owner: Victoria Butler
MCA Member Manufacturer: Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp
MCA Member Coating Manufacturer: Arkema Inc.
MCA Member Coating Manufacturer: Valspar
Architect: Marlon Blackwell Architects
Contractor: Nabholz Construction Corporation
Metal Installer: Harness Roofing Inc.

About the Metal Construction Association

The Metal Construction Association brings together a diverse industry for the purpose of expanding the use of metal in construction through marketing, research, technology, and education. Companies involved in MCA gain tremendous benefit from association activities that focus on research, codes and standards, market development, and technical programs. MCA’s market development efforts increase the use of metal materials in construction through the education of the building and design communities regarding the benefits of metal.