FAYETTEVILLE — A sprawling maker space inside the Anthony Timberlands Center for Design and Materials Innovation being built will be named after Peter MacKeith — dean of the University of Arkansas, Fay Jones School of Fayetteville Architecture and Design – courtesy of a $2.5-million donation from UA-Fayetteville alumnus John Ed Anthony and his wife, Isabel.
The 9,000 square foot manufacturing space, which will be the center’s largest indoor space and will take up much of the ground floor while opening onto a manufacturing yard, will be known as the Workshop and Peter Brabson MacKeith II Manufacturing Laboratory, according to the university. . The Center is expected to open in the fall of 2024.
The Anthonys also made the lead gift of $7.5 million toward the establishment of the Center, in 2018, according to the university. The Center will house the Fay Jones School’s wood and wood graduate program and be the epicenter of its multiple wood and wood initiatives, as well as the school’s existing design-build program and an expanded digital fabrication lab.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous commitment and vision of the Anthony family,” Mark Power, vice chancellor for advancement, said in a statement from the university. “They have inspired collaboration and garnered support from friends and benefactors to support important sustainable wood and wood design initiatives originating in Arkansas.”
This fabrication shop will be the heart of the building – its largest and busiest space – encompassing a central bay with a metallurgical workshop, a seminar room, a small digital lab and dedicated space for a large CNC router (a Computer Numerical Controlled machine that uses computer programming to control a high-speed rotary cutter to perform cutting and shaping operations), according to the university. An overhead crane running on inside-out rails will move large equipment and products inside and outside the Centre.
The center is not on the main UA-Fayetteville campus, but rather in the university’s new Windgate Art and Design District on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the southern part of town. The Anthony Timberlands Center is designed by Grafton Architects, a Dublin-based firm whose co-founders won the 2020 Pritzker Prize, considered one of the best – if not the best – prizes in architecture.
The latest cost estimate for the Center is $33.5 million, the majority of which is covered by private donations — such as the Anthonys’ contribution — with the rest paid for by university funds.
The four-story, 44,800-square-foot center will also include studios, seminar and conference rooms, faculty offices, a small auditorium and public exhibit space, according to the university. The Fay Jones School is a leading proponent of innovation in wood and wood design, and the Center will have a similar aim.
MacKeith, who has served as dean of the Fay Jones School since 2014, “introduced not only me, but the entire Arkansas forest products community, to concepts that were happening all over the world,” Anthony said in a statement. university press. “He did it almost alone. He formed committees, he gave speeches, he incorporated his zeal to bring groups of people together to hear about these innovations that hadn’t been brought to America.”
Therefore, it is “appropriate that the manufacturing space at the heart of the research center be named in honor of Dean Peter MacKeith and in recognition of his leadership in this transformative enterprise for the university and the state”, Power said in a statement from the university.
MacKeith’s efforts and guidance are one of the reasons Anthony wanted to make a second donation to the Center that would specifically recognize MacKeith’s contributions.
“There’s only one person responsible for bringing this project to fruition – and that’s not me. It’s Peter MacKeith, and I can’t think of anything more fitting than naming the space of design and fabrication of this building in his honor,” Anthony said in the university’s press release. “That’s what Isabel and I wanted to do because of her influence, and the enthusiasm shown by other donors to join us has been very encouraging.”
Anthony holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Sam M. Walton College of Business, previously served on the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, and is a member of the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame. from Walton College. He and his wife are part of the university’s Towers of Old Main, a giving society for the university’s most generous benefactors, as well as the Chancellor’s Society, the university’s most prestigious annual giving group. .