David Leven, Stella Betts will present ‘House of Trees; Conference of the City of Trees on October 31


Photo courtesy of LEVENBETTS

“House of Trees” is a wooden pavilion built around a southern yellow pine on the Orchard Trail at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. Designed by LEVENBETTS, the pavilion is part of the museum’s “Architecture at Home” exhibition, on display until November 7.

David Leven and Stella Betts will lecture at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 31 at Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Room 250, Vol Walker Hall, U of A campus, as part of the U of A Lecture Series. fall at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

Leven, FAIA, and Betts, Associate AIA, founded LEVENBETTS in 1997 in New York. The practice has long been committed to the transformative impact of conscious interventions in the built and natural environment. They are 2022 John G. Williams Distinguished Visitors in Architecture.

Their firm, LEVENBETTS, is one of five architecture firms participating in the exhibition architecture at home at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. This outdoor architectural exhibit, located along the Orchard Trail on the museum grounds and anchored by R. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, brings together five 500-square-foot house prototypes to spark a dialogue about contemporary housing .

In their talk, “House of Trees | City of Trees,” Leven and Betts will discuss a combination of open frames they have developed for housing, along with expressive explorations of mass timber technologies. To highlight housing and architectural design opportunities, Leven and Betts will dive into the two projects that LEVENBETTS has developed for the architecture at home exhibition at Crystal Bridges.

“House of Trees” is a wooden lodge built around a southern yellow pine on the Orchard Trail in Crystal Bridges. And “City of Trees” is a nine-block housing prototype in Bentonville’s Historic Third Ward. The two parallel projects aim to respond to the twin housing and carbon crises that afflict cities, communities and the planet in the face of the commodification of the housing market and climate change due to the human-induced imbalance in the cycle. global carbon.

“House of Trees” is an all-wood structure that dances among the trees on its site, creating an immediate connection with the forest. LEVENBETTS has sourced sustainably grown lumber from Arkansas and worked with local partners throughout the lumber supply chain to machine and process lumber into cross-laminated timber (CLT) and components glulam. These processes allow the structure to be expressive of its materials and technologies, responsive to its surroundings, filled with open and flexible spaces, and full of changing light qualities throughout the day and seasons. “La Maison des Arbres” is both from the forest and located deep in the forest.

“City of Trees” provides inclusive mass timber housing for a rapidly developing neighborhood adjacent to downtown Bentonville that exhibits the social, housing, and urbanization constraints prevalent in many small American towns. The project rethinks restrictive zoning practices to open up new opportunities for higher density housing, social amenities and new qualities of urban living.

A patchwork infill approach honors and enhances existing neighborhood fabric while creating living scenarios that promote shared and individualized lifestyles. Advocating for combining available lots within the block, reinforcing urban natural patterns of trees and water, and innovating with new mass timber technologies and local supply chains, the proposal proposes smart methods of d urbanization – and community/planet conscious decarbonized building methodologies – while meeting the region’s growing housing needs.

LEVENBETTS is committed to all scales of projects, from civic, cultural and educational projects in the urban realm to homes and housing, as well as unique installations, exhibitions and furnishings. The practice brings its unique combination of vision and precision, common sense and extraordinary sensitivity to each project.

The practice has received national and international recognition through awards and publications, and in 2020 received the AIA New York State Business of the Year Award. Additionally, Betts was recognized as a Next Generation Leader by the 2020 Architecture file Women in Architecture Forum, and Leven received the highest honor of Fellowship from the American Institute of Architects for her “outstanding work and contributions to architecture and society” by achieving Fellow status in 2018.

Over the years, LEVENBETTS has been honored by the Architectural League of New York for the 2009 Emerging Voices series, Architecture file‘s Design Vanguard 2007 and the Young Architects Forum 2003. They received six AIA New York awards for significant projects. Their work has been exhibited and published around the world. Leven and Betts have taught design at Columbia University, Cornell University, Parsons New School of Design, Cooper Union, and Yale University.

Some of their recent and ongoing projects include the renovation of the Queens Museum in New York; several New York public libraries – Redhook Library, East Flatbush Library, Borough Park Library, and Baisley Library; pavilions for the Art Omi Architecture Fields in Ghent, New York, and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, as well as a 300,000 square foot life sciences building in Harlem and an affordable housing building for seniors in Forest Hills, Queens.

LEVENBETTS recently published a book, Thirteen ways to see a housewhich examines the architectural program of the house from multiple artistic and cultural perspectives.

Leven received a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University and a Master of Architecture from Yale University School of Architecture. He also studied at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York. He is currently an associate professor at the Parsons School of Design and serves on the board of the New York AIA Chapter.

Betts earned a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and a Masters of Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School for Design. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at Yale University School of Architecture and serves on the Executive Board of the Architectural League of New York.

The school is seeking continuing education credit for this conference through the American Institute of Architects.

This conference is free and open to the public. The seats are limited.

For more information, contact 479-575-4704 or fayjones.uark.edu.


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