Johnson Architecture project Marble Hall earns statewide AIA Tennessee award

January 4, 2022

Johnson Architecture has earned recognition for a fifth time for its reimagining of Marble Hall at Lakeshore Park. AIA Tennessee, the Tennessee chapter of the American Institute of Architects, presented the company with a merit award for renovation and restoration on Dec. 9 in a virtual ceremony.

The AIA Tennessee 2021 Design & Honor Awards salute excellence in architecture and honor works of distinction designed by AIA Tennessee members.

“We are proud that our work on Marble Hall has expanded the community benefit of this historic structure and created a public landmark for Lakeshore Park,” said Daryl Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Architecture. “It’s always an honor to be recognized by our peers, and it is especially meaningful for this project.”

The Lakeshore Park board and landscape architect Ross Fowler hired Johnson Architecture to design the renovation of Marble Hall and create Marble Pavilion. Denark Construction was the contractor on the project, and Partners served as owner’s representative.

The design kept intact the classic architectural identity of Marble Hall, while part of the “skin” was peeled away to expose the simple elegance of the 3,367-square-foot structure. The existing Tennessee marble cladding remained, as well as the structural wooden frame and ceiling and the intricate rose window. The design also included new, adjacent public restrooms and a 1,008-square-foot Marble Pavilion, which features materials reflective of its counterpart.

Johnson Architecture’s design of Lakeshore Park’s Marble Hall and Marble Pavilion earned a merit award for renovation and restoration at the virtual AIA Tennessee 2021 Design Awards on Dec. 9. The 1950s-era former chapel has been adapted for public use. Photo credit: Ben Finch.

Marble Hall originally was constructed in 1958 as a chapel for the Eastern State Psychiatric Hospital, later renamed Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, and is one of the few remaining buildings on the property from that era. Following the closure of the institute in 2012, the State of Tennessee conveyed the property to the City of Knoxville. Lakeshore Park now draws thousands of visitors annually.

Johnson Architecture adds the recent AIA Tennessee award to others previously earned for Marble Hall, including a Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchids Award for outdoor space; an East Tennessee Historical Society Award of Distinction; an East Tennessee Preservation Award from Knox Heritage; and an AIA East Tennessee Merit Award for renovation and restoration.