BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Thaden School in Bentonville has been awarded the 2022 James D. MacConnell award, one of the most prestigious national honors for architecture in education.

According to the release, Thaden School was planned and designed by EskewDumezRipple, Marlon Blackwell Architects, and Andropogon Associates. Its founding vision is described as challenging traditional paradigms of education to create a campus where students are afforded optimal opportunities to learn from their surroundings and interact with their community.

The award jury noted, “This school celebrates the ability to respond to differences. Ownership and stewardship are strong here. This is symbolic of the idea of an ‘anti-school’ where students’ receive a distinct message about the agency and respect afforded to their individual learning. It promotes freedom of creativity through its spirited design.”

As the jury concluded it deliberations, one juror exclaimed, “The planning and design of Thaden is pure poetry!”

Thaden was named this year’s winner from a field of more than 75 contenders before an audience of architects, educators, and design professionals in San Antonio, Texas.