Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation

Anthony Timberlands Center
for Design and Materials Innovation

The University of Arkansas Fayetteville, in accordance with the policies of the Board of Trustees, is soliciting responses from qualified architects for the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation.


The Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation Center is envisioned as an important extension of the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, and a key part of the university’s Windgate Art and Design District on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Fayetteville. The district is situated along a busy transportation corridor that frames the southern edge of the nearby main campus and connects to the city’s Mill District. The new building will occupy a prominent corner site facing the Mill District and downtown Fayetteville, and will—in its role as an urban project—strengthen the university’s presence and contribute to the developing urban density and character of MLK Jr. Boulevard as it transitions from a suburban-style highway to an urban street. As a beacon for the district and a complementary neighbor to the School of Art’s studios and the Library Annex, the Anthony Timberlands Center will serve several purposes: It will serve as home to the Fay Jones School’s graduate program in timber and wood design and serve as the epicenter for the school’s multiple timber and wood initiatives. It will also house the school’s existing design-build program and digital fabrication laboratory, as well as a new applied research center. Given the State of Arkansas’s role as one of the nation’s leading producers of timber and forest products, the focus of the applied design research center will, in large part, be in wood design and innovation, although other material types will be included.

Funding for the project includes a significant private gift. The ambition of the donor, shared by the university, is to create a building of the highest quality that will showcase Arkansas’s resources, build innovation for Arkansas wood products, bring distinction to the university and the state, and win design, engineering, and construction awards. To that end, the building will be a showcase for both design and construction innovation, allied with the highest ambitions for sustainability. This will advance the standard established by the Fay Jones School’s home, Vol Walker Hall and the Steven L. Anderson Design Center. This facility set an outstanding example in design and sustainability, having been recognized with AIA National Honor Award in Design and earning LEED Gold certification. The Anthony Timberlands Center will continue this legacy of design excellence and will further the approach to sustainability—achieving a minimum of LEED Gold, but also exploring the potential for net zero, Passivhaus, or Living Building Challenge in order to demonstrate leadership for sustainable building practices in Arkansas. Along with these concerns, the project is an opportunity to illustrate and promote diversity. Women and minority-owned firms are strongly encouraged to apply, and all applicants should describe the diversity of their firm.

The Anthony Timberlands Center represents a remarkable opportunity to embrace the high ideals and ambitions of the university and the principles of the Fay Jones School by directly illustrating a vision for the future of the school and the 21st-century university in its form and character, rather than nostalgia for the past. The inherently contemporary nature of this project demands both an intensely speculative design process and engagement of best practices in design and construction. Taken together, the Anthony Center will be both of its time and looking ahead to a world designed to be humane, beautiful, and enduring, by being interdisciplinary, diverse, and collaborative.


The project is expected to demonstrate mass timber and wood product construction to the fullest extent possible, sourced primarily from Arkansas forests and mills, and create a distinct and innovative identity for the school and the district. While prior experience in mass timber design and construction will be considered useful, the true driver for the project is design and material innovation. Although the construction of the building focuses on wood, the eventual use and programs housed within are not exclusively dedicated to wood.

The building will house classrooms, studios, seminar spaces, conferences areas, faculty offices, and visiting faculty living quarters, all situated atop a double-height fabrication and design-build shop floor. The building may be up to four or five stories and may include up to 50,000 square feet. Final size, occupancy, and the nature of the learning components will be determined during the programming process, and applicants must be well-versed in current best practices for education and fabrication facilities. The way in which this building and its surrounding spaces are integrated within the district will be determined in collaboration with the design team of the School of Art’s ongoing project next door, specifically to consider issues of context, adjacencies, shared public space programs, shared landscape architecture, and shared spaces which are essential for reasons of facility and overall cost efficiencies. This shared landscape will be critical for both the Fay Jones School and the School of Art as a place of collaboration, for working on large scale assemblies, and for taking deliveries of significant materials and components.


The selection process for the Anthony Center will be divided into two phases. In the first phase, through review of responses to the RFQ, a shortlist of six (6) architects will be identified and invited to enter a design competition, funded by a grant from the US Forest Service and the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities. The emphasis in this first phase is explicitly on the design excellence of an individual architect or practice. Architects are to respond to the RFQ individually, without reference to partners, engineers, or consultants. Responses to the RFQ that include information about teams or partnerships will not be considered. Architects who respond to the RFQ but are not shortlisted are still eligible to join the teams formed by the shortlisted architects.

In the second phase, the six shortlisted firms will be asked to assemble full project teams as they prepare their competition entries. Teams will present their designs publicly and interview separately with the selection committee. Subsequently, as the project progresses through design and construction, the winning team will be expected to engage with the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design’s curriculum and to provide public updates as the design and construction process of the Anthony Center must be of educational value.


The project budget (total project cost) is $16 million. Architects and consultants will work with a university building committee, a general contractor/construction manager, an independent third-party commissioning agent, and Facilities Management to advance campus master planning and design principles, as well as sustainability initiatives. For general campus planning and standards information, visit


Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued October 4
Statement of Qualification (SOQ) due October 29
shortlist announcement November 12
interviews and public presentations early February 2020
Board of Trustees selection announced March 19, 2020
contract negotiations March 2020

design starts April 2020
construction starts May 2021
project complete December 2022


The deadline for responses is 1:00pm local time on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.
All respondents will be notified of the results by EMAIL, so please provide accurate contact information.

Address ten (10) copies of responses to: Todd Furgason, Senior Campus Planner
University of Arkansas
Facilities Management Planning and Design
521 S. Razorback Road, FAMA C-100
Fayetteville, AR 72701

Statements of Qualification will be reviewed by a selection committee using a standardized Design Services Shortlist Evaluation form. This form is available for download at

Written responses should be limited to 50 pages maximum, fully recyclable (i.e. no plastic binding, covers, or tabs), and should include:

1. Proof of licensure or eligibility:

Architects: All firms shall be licensed, or eligible for licensure, in the State of Arkansas. Eligible firms not currently licensed must send a letter to the Arkansas State Board of Architects (501-682-3171/501-682-3172 fax) stating their intent to respond to an RFQ issued by the University of Arkansas. Please include project name, submittal date, and proof of valid NCARB certification in the letter. Notification to the State Board must be made PRIOR to responding to this solicitation, and A COPY OF EITHER A VALID ARKANSAS LICENSE OR THE QUALIFYING LETTER MUST BE INCLUDED WITH ALL SUBMITTALS. The final selected firm(s) will have 30 days to make application for corporate licensure after they are awarded the contract.

2. Specific experience with materials research and innovative construction techniques
3. Specific project experience (within the past five years) with advanced timber technologies used as both structural and envelope systems
4. Specific project experience (within the past five years) with fabrication facilities and their spatial and technological requirements
5. Specific project experience (within the past five years) with design of a range of university instructional spaces and their spatial, acoustical, lighting, and technological requirements
6. Specific project experience (within the past five years) with the design of successful urban places, including building siting, design of active and passive exterior spaces, and integration of landscape
7. Specific project experience (within the past five years) with sustainable design practices beyond LEED certification such as net zero, Passivhaus, Living Building Challenge, etc.
8. Current office size, personnel description, and workload
9. Proof of current professional liability insurance coverage ($1,000,000 minimum required)
10. Prior experience constructing projects under nationally and internationally-recognized sustainable rating systems
11. Prior experience with fully-commissioned projects
12. Projects currently under contract with state agencies or educational facilities
13. Statement of diversity in the workforce, if applicable
14. Certificate of women-owned or minority-owned business, if applicable

Professional Services Required (final selected team of architect(s) and their consultants):