Shelby Farms Park Visitor Center

Completed as BIM Manager and Project Manager for Marlon Blackwell Architects
Professional photographs by Tim Hursley


2018 World Architecture Festival Finalist (Civic and Community)
2018 THE PLAN Award, Landscape Category
2018 Gulf States Regional AIA Honor Award
2018 Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award
2017 Metal Architecture Design Award (Grand Award) [Visitor Center]
2017 Memphis Business Journal Best New Construction Project (Large Projects)

Shelby Farms Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, has implemented a master plan, developed by James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), to transform the extraordinarily diverse, 4,500 acre landscape into a nationally renowned, 21st century landmark. The first phase of this visionary project is now complete. Imagined as the “Heart of the Park,” an ensemble of buildings and structures merge with the site to create an active landscape around the 80-acre Hyde Lake.

The buildings vary in form and function but unite around the simple southern experience of the porch, providing both prospect across the landscape and refuge from the elements. The deep overhangs offer shade from the intense Memphis sun while a geothermal loop through the lake ties the primary structures together. The ensemble of figures share a spare but potent material palette of local cypress and metal panels, balancing the natural and industrial history of the place.

Centrally located, the Visitor Center creates a new iconic image for the reformed landscape. The building acts as the nerve center of the Park, serving as a hub and point of arrival for visitors. At the east end of the lake, the Restaurant and Event Center with a deep set porch and low slung roof is an economic and social catalyst for the Park. Together, the Pavilions – an Event Stage, Boat House, and two Lakeside Picnic Pavilions – contribute to the active and playful landscape at the Heart of the Park.