Posts tagged with "Kansas City":

Spotlight on Kansas City, home to world-class architects and designers

Located squarely in the middle of the U.S., Kansas City is about as far from an international border as a place can get, yet the architectural output of this little city punches above its weight. Kansas City has sprouted a number of notable architecture firms that work on local, national, and international stages. Consider glass and metal specialists, Zahner, for example. The firm, which has been based in Kansas City for more than a century, has produced intricate facades and custom fabrications in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America. These include the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and its own headquarters in Kansas City, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, Grace Farms in Connecticut, the Miu Miu Aoyama luxury retail store in Tokyo, a Maggie's Center in Dundee, Scotland, and a soccer stadium in Basra, Iraq. Zahner has now become the industry's go-to for bespoke, complex facades. The latter was a collaboration with another Kansas City-based firm, stadium specialists 360 Architecture (now HOK). Known as the Basra Sports City Stadium and completed in 2013, the development's landmark 65,000-seat stadium is draped in perforated and pre-weathered Solanum Steel panels that fall between an undulating concrete surface. "People wouldn't usually recognize a Kansas City firm for such a project," said Travis Bailey, a Senior Project Architect at HOK. "There's a lot going on here, locally and internationally, various project types and scales, and numerous types of innovation." Design excellence is being practiced in Kansas City, too, as local firms Helix Architecture + Design, SFS Architecture, Walter P Moore, Populous, STRATA Architecture + Preservation, BNIM, and Gould Evans are demonstrating with a mix of new and adaptive reuse projects, all varying in typology. Helix Architecture + Design's James C. Olson Performing Arts Center for the University of Missouri is a renovation and 4,000-square-foot expansion, completed in 2016, to address the functional deficiencies of the inherited 1970’s building. The renovation brought in more light and updated internal spaces. A new, bigger lobby has been encased by an added exterior glass curtainwall facade to enhance the building’s presence on campus, while improvements to the Spencer Theater have been made and a patron lounge expanded. Representatives of all these firms will be on hand to delve deeper into the growing architectural resources Kansas City has to offer at Facades+ AM next week on July 19. There, Travis Bailey will be joined by Gus Drosos, Technical Principal at HOK, as conference co-chair, overseeing three panels. These will look at how firms offer facade solutions in Kansas City, the U.S., and beyond, addressing the climate, client, and cultural challenges these bring. For more information click here. Seating is limited.

BNIM updates and rebuilds a historic Kansas City church ravaged by fire

Not much was left after a devastating fire ravaged the Westport Presbyterian Church, in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2011. Originally built in 1905, the church saw its roof structure, interior structure, and all interior finishes destroyed. All that remained undamaged was the exterior limestone wall. This is where Kansas City–based BNIM began on what was to become a complete transformation of the neighborhood icon. Westport Presbyterian Church is located in one of Kansas City’s oldest historic neighborhoods, surrounded by streets lined with vibrantly painted bungalows and cottages. The lively neighborhood was originally the westernmost trading outpost in the region, serving pioneers venturing on the California, Santa Fe, and Oregon Trails, which all converged in Kansas City. By the time the church was built, the area had recently been annexed into the city, which was itself booming thanks to the railroad. The congregation dates to 1835, and the building has been in the same location since just after the Civil War. Yet even before the fire, the church was working to change its relationship with the surrounding community. “They had already started a process of rethinking what their church would be in the changing culture of Westport,” Erik Heitman, project architect at BNIM, said. “They wanted to re-envision what they were, and how they could serve the community. They not only had to re-envision what their congregation was, but what was the building that serves that mission. They never thought they would rebuild it as it was. This was a chance to reinvent themselves.” Rather than attempt to return the church to its original design, BNIM worked with the church staff to rethink how the community could use the building. A 1916 addition damaged beyond repair would be replaced by a new structure that included a bright public-facing storefront. A welcoming entrance directly on the street, and its interior space, are now available to local groups. The new construction would also provide space for creating and displaying art by one of the church’s own outreach organizations. Thinking about the outward connection to the community, the exterior space was redesigned to provide places to gather adjacent to corresponding interiors. While adding new functional spaces to the church updated the building’s use and presence in the neighborhood, it would be the restoration of the sacred spaces that would present the greatest challenges. It took firefighters over 13 hours to extinguish the fire, leaving the building either burned beyond recognition or destroyed by water. The original sanctuary, chapel, second floor, and basement would all have to be completely rebuilt. Yet, elements of the building were salvaged. Heitman described it as “a new sanctuary delicately placed into the original stone walls.” After a careful restoration, the stained-glass windows were reinstalled in the nave, this time at the parishioner’s eye level. Unable to be used structurally, 40,000 linear feet of the original wood framing was captured for interior finishes as well. Ironically, one of the new design elements of the sanctuary found its genesis in the temporary space the congregation used after the fire. While only limited natural light was allowed into the original sanctuary through stained glass, the temporary rental space was washed with natural light through clear vision glass. Wanting to include and improve this effect, a ribbon clerestory was added, encircling the entire sanctuary. Effectively filling the space with dramatic natural light, the clerestory also hints at the relationship between the new walls and the now-visible original stonewalls. While the destruction of a historic building is never a good thing, the long-standing congregation found a way to use it to their advantage. With a vision of what its congregation could be, and help from BNIM, the Westport Presbyterian Church was able to realize a more open and inviting presence in one of Kansas City’s most dynamic neighborhoods.

AECOM guns to take over SOM’s Kansas City airport project

After Kansas City, Missouri, residents overwhelmingly voted last month to replace the outdated Kansas City International Airport (KCI) with a $1 billion, SOM-designed consolidated terminal, talks between developer Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate and the Kansas City government appear to have broken down. After the city council refused Edgemoor’s memorandum of understanding, AECOM and Kansas City–based competitor Burns & McDonnell have announced that they’re teaming up to mount a counterproposal for the new KCI. Although the vote to build the new airport was held in November, the developer selection process dragged on earlier this summer as Edgemoor, AECOM and Burns & McDonnell all submitted proposals to Kansas City officials. While AECOM, submitting under the banner of KCI Partnership, and Burns & McDonnell had both submitted plans that included detailed funding frameworks for the project, Edgemoor kept their funding plans vague and didn’t release designs for the new airport until after they had been selected as the winner. The memorandum of understanding was supposed to finalize the specific details of the arrangement between Kansas City and Edgemoor, but councilmembers have said that Edgemoor’s funding plan is still too vague for the city’s liking. Other than a lac of community investment, Edgemoor’s agreement would have also included a $30 million payout to Edgemoor if the project fell through, a provision the council found unacceptable. Councilman Quinton Lucas told The Kansas City Star that the council was right to reject the memorandum. “There’s a reimbursement agreement that obligates the city to potentially millions of dollars, a number of those costs incurred before the election,” said Lucas. “There was absolutely no detail on financing. I know we want flexibility, but we also want to know what we are binding the city to, potentially for years to come.” Following the failure to pass the memorandum, a resolution will be discussed this week that, if passed, would drop Edgemoor as the new KCI developer and scrap SOM’s plans to streamline the airport. Capitalizing on the potential shakeup, Burns & McDonnell has joined AECOM as part of KCI Partnership, and the group is putting together an alternate plan that would invest millions into the surrounding community. An AECOM, Burns & McDonnell partnership might have seemed unfathomable during the earlier selection process. Karl Reichelt, a senior managing director at AECOM, accused the KCI selection committee of "moving the goalposts" and tilting the process towards Burns & McDonnell after the committee asked additional, post-proposal questions of the teams. While at the time AECOM viewed this as allowing the other groups to reconfigure their packages on the fly, Burns & McDonnell were eventually disqualified for their proposed funding framework.

SOM’s $1 billion Kansas City airport set to soar after vote

Voters in Kansas City overwhelmingly approved a new $1 billion plan on Tuesday to transform the Kansas City International Airport (KCI). Passed by a 75-to-25 margin, work now begins on tearing down the existing three terminals and consolidating the airport into one building. Leading up to the vote, Maryland-based Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate had been tapped by Kansas City officials to develop the airport, with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) designing. Opened in 1972, the clover-shaped KSI was almost immediately made obsolete in the same year by the passage of new airport security requirements. The horseshoe arrangement allows passengers to easily get from the street to the gate, but also precludes the rigorous security checkpoints that modern airports require. Public opinion over the terminals has been sharply divided ever since the installation of an unwieldy glass wall between the ticketing and boarding area, required by the FAA after a hijacking attempt. SOM’s proposal for the airport has tried to keep the same level of convenience that Kansas City residents are used to. Their H-shaped terminal will have two concourses and accommodate 35 gates, and the arrivals and departure area has been split across different levels while still retaining curbside service. An improved arrangement of dining and retail options has been added as well, especially important as the project will be funded in part by concessions sales. Most striking is the firm's attempt to bring natural light into the concrete-topped concourse. Floor-to-ceiling windows and an undulating roof structure that references rolling hills is split up with even more glass that will give passengers uninterrupted views. Besides adding parking and expanding the size of security areas to avoid a passenger backlog, SOM has also included a series of two-story-tall fountains capable of having messages projected into them, reminiscent of Safdie Architect’s Water Vortex in Singapore’s Changi Airport. However, the project may be still tenuous despite the project’s 2021 completion goal. Edgemoor had been selected by the city after promising to pay for the project by taking on private debt without burdening taxpayers, but this also exposes them to bearing any cost overruns down the line. The firm now has to complete a detailed construction agreement with the city or the project will be handed off to AECOM. The airport vote follows a riverfront master plan unveiled in July, and it looks like new development in Kansas City won’t slow down anytime soon. The full terminal master plan and set of site studies can be found here.

This fiery natural history museum integrates dynamic, color-shifting materials

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The Museum at Prairiefire, located 20 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri, is designed as a regional civic hub containing educational traveling exhibits from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The project, designed by Boston-based museum architecture and planning firm Verner Johnson, was inspired by one of the most unique aspects of the Kansas tallgrass prairie: the prairie fire burns. These controlled fires, which can be traced back to Native Americans, suppress invasive plants that help rejuvenate native grasses, promoting plant and animal diversity.   
  • Facade Manufacturer Millennium Forms (metal panels); Goldray Industries (dichroic glass); US Stone (Kansas limestone); Echelon Cordova Stone (engineered stone)
  • Architects Verner Johnson
  • Facade Installer Lovell Sheet Metal (metal panels); JPI Glass (dichroic glass); D&D Masonry (stone)
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Overland Park, KS
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System steel frame with metal panel, curtain wall glazing, and stone veneer
  • Products Millenium Forms Flat Lock Panel in bright annealed and mill finish with Bronze Gold, Peacock, and Burgundy colors; Goldray Industries Dichroic Laminated Glass with 3M film (dichroic glass); US Stone (Kansas limestone); Echelon Cordova Stone (engineered stone)
The project involves two box-like volumes connected by a free-form volume of space clad with color-shifting materials compositionally organized to evoke flame bursts and spark-like effects. The faceted nature of the building perimeter, paired with a unique material palette of dichroic glass and iridescent metal panels, produces a dynamic envelope that changes with varying environmental light conditions. Jonathan Kharfen, Principal at Verner Johnson, said the concept to evoke fire was a core focus of the design team from very early on in the project. "If you have a strong concept, then all of your decision-making must support that concept—details, massing, materials—everything." Narrow tube columns are spaced 25” apart, encouraging people to stand between them. The architects say this apparent lack of structure makes the Great Hall volume float, expand around corners, and dynamically engulf the visitor. This structure is employed as support for the building envelope which consists of a structural silicone glazed system (SSG) of fixed insulated glass units (IGU) and a stick-built insulated exterior wall with metal panel cladding. Dichroic film is a transparent material that appears to change color when viewed from various angles. By faceting the plan geometry of the exterior walls, a wide range of color was achieved by one type of film. The film is laminated between two sheets of glass, which is placed into an IGU assembly. "As far as we know, dichroic has never been used in this way," said Kharfen. The glass units are compositionally arranged within a standard flat seam cladding system of metal panels. The color effects of these panels are produced by an electrochemical reaction between stainless steel and chromium oxide which builds up the material to specific depths. Ultimately, four different colors with various finishes were used on the project. The distribution of the tiles in a "paint-by-number" tiling pattern was determined by the architects well ahead of the final installation. "There was a lot of work that went into developing languages of the glazing and metal panels," he said. "To get to a realization of the concept you are working with is a long process—and to me, it's a process of developing a language with that material that evokes what you're trying to communicate." The dynamism of the metal panels and dichroic glass is cast against a stone veneer backup wall composed of a color mix that has been arranged in a gradient coursing. Bands of stone with specific percentages of color mixes helped to translate this concept into reality. The bottom 15 feet of wall shifts from limestone to an engineered stone product, which embeds into an undulating landscape that surrounds the building.

Disney will recreate this historic Kansas City theater

It is not likely that anyone has first-hand memories of the Willis Wood Theatre. Designed by noted Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss, and built in 1902, the impressive Beaux Arts theater burned to the ground in 1917. One hundred years later, as part of a major announcement at the D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced it will be building a replica of the long-gone theater at near Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom. The choice of a theater that no one has seen in a century is not random. Kansas City was the boyhood home of Walt Disney. Disney moved to Kansas City at the age of nine from Marceline, Missouri. While the small town of Marceline is the basis for the Main Street U.S.A. area at Magic Kingdom, there are also many references to Kansas City in the middle America–themed amusement park. In particular, signs from Kansas City's Laugh-O-Gram Studio, the studio in which Walt Disney invented Mickey Mouse, can be found throughout. While it is not known whether Disney ever attended shows at the Willis Wood Theatre, historians think it is likely. It is known that 33rd President Harry S. Truman frequented the theater to see Shakespeare plays performed. Built by Colonel Willis Wood, a successful dry goods merchant, the theater hosted live performances until being converted into a movie theater. Today the site of the block-and-half-long theater is home to the Mark Twain tower, a historic landmark in its own right. With no chance of the theater every being rebuilt in its original location, it would seem central Florida will be the place for those looking for turn-of-the-century Kansas City. The real question is whether the new theater's interior will match the reds, greens, blues, and gold that reportedly adorned the original, and whether the large nude caryatids will once again fill the main theater space.

Kansas City officials unveil plans to redevelop the city’s riverfront

The Kansas City Port Authority (Port KC) revealed its master plan to redevelop the city’s riverfront into a live-work-play area last month. Despite roadblocks during the early phase of development, the 80-acre Berkley Riverfront Park redevelopment project plans to make the area into an attractive, high-density mixed-use destination. Union, a mixed-use development by Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties, broke ground last year and is on track to open next summer with more than 400 apartments and six acres of retail space. Once completed, the park will have new pedestrian and bikeway paths and have spaces for hosting events like Kansas City PrideFest, Riverfront Fitness, and KC Nanobrew Festival, according to a Port KC press release. The annual July 4 Riverfest is already held in the park. Other amenities and attractions will be built along the water, including a dog park that is slated to be built next year. The city is also looking into the possibility of expanding the streetcar line from the Downtown River Market to the Riverfront for better public access, with a feasibility study coming out in the next few weeks.

Kansas City’s el dorado appoints art curator as new principal

With what may be considered a slightly unorthodox move, Kansas City–based el dorado, inc. has named a curator and writer as a new partner. As a means of enforcing the intersection of architecture and contemporary art—which the firm has long explored—noted curator, Hesse McGraw is joining the office. His role will largely be to integrate curation and writing into the 20-year-old firm. With an interest in alternative practices, el dorado has long included architectural fabrication as part of their services. The firm also has maintained a gallery for installation-based artwork. Outside of the office, el dorado has had a productive relationship with art institutions and curators including McGraw who has worked on past projects. In 2004 the firm worked with McGraw on the MOVING IN MOVING OUT exhibition at the el dorado-design FLEX Self Storage in Kansas City. el dorado also worked with McGraw as part of the multidisciplinary consultant team for Phase II of The City of Calgary Utilities and Environmental Protection Department’s (UEP) public art plan. In addition to this, McGraw has extensive experience working in architecture, including collaborations with Min | Day on the Bemis Center in Omaha, Nebraska, Theaster Gates and the Rebuild Foundation on the Carver Bank in Omaha, and with BNIM on the Paragraph Gallery in Kansas City. Currently, McGraw is serving as the Vice President for Exhibitions and Public Programs at San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), where he commissioned his most controversial and uncanny architecture related piece. In 2014 McGraw and SFAI commissioned artist Jill Magid’s ongoing project The Proposal. The project centers around an attempt to retrieve the professional archive of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Luis Barragán. The archive is currently owned by Federica Zanco, art historian and wife of Vitra founder Rolf Fehlbaum. Fehlbaum acquired the archive as an engagement gift for Zanco in lieu of a ring. In the hopes of negotiating a trade for the archive, Magid has produced a ring set with a diamond made from the Barragán cremated remains. The diamond has subsequently been displayed in Zurich, Switzerland, home of Zanco, at SFAI, McGraw’s institution, and in Mexico City, Barragán’s home. So far, Magid’s attempts at retrieving the archive with the ring have not been successful. The Architect's Newspaper covered the story as it developed in 2016. “For the past decade, Hesse has redefined the role of a curator,” said el dorado Partner Josh Shelton in a press release. “He has stepped outside the walls of the gallery to activate the city and supported artists as they engage intractable problems at a global scale—and he does so with infectious optimism. The range of his curatorial expertise and fearless approach will expand the growing scope and reach of el dorado’s practice.”

Kansas State University students design affordable duplex with architecture firm el dorado

The Design+Make Studio is a capstone design studio at Kansas State University that works in collaboration with Kansas City-based el dorado inc. The focus of this year’s studio is to design an affordable duplex in the Waldo area in Kansas City. The research-based studio involves graduate students addressing community needs using design as a way of problem-solving. In past years the studio has built numerous pavilions and gathering spaces around Kansas City and has worked with clients ranging from the Girl Scouts to government agencies. The current duplex project, however, will be by far the most ambitious. 7509 Pennsylvania was commissioned by Botwin Commercial Development, who will eventually build the project. Through working with Botwin, under the guidance of el dorado, the students are getting direct experience working with clients, budgets, and timelines. “The duplex is built to fulfill a need,” said David Alpert, partner at Botwin Commercial Development. “In Kansas City, rent is increasing at a rate that is 56 percent higher than the national average. There are many people who work in Waldo, but can’t afford to live in Waldo. This duplex project is designed to accommodate families and individuals who want quality housing at a price they can afford. Lease price will be set based on income levels.” The duplex itself utilizes a modest footprint while maintaining high-quality materials. Each unit will have two bedrooms and one bath, within a total of 730 square feet of living space. The reduced footprint allowed for more attention and resources to go into design elements such as landscaping, lighting, water runoff, and an improved spatial quality. “There were three goals of this project,” said David Dowell, el dorado principal and Design+Make instructor in a press release. “First, create quality housing people can afford in Waldo and second, ensure the project is truly adaptable. By accomplishing goals one and two, we can replicate the concept into different build sites and plans can flex to meet each developer and tenant’s needs. To further encourage replication, every stage of design and construction will be open-source.”

Design-competition television show to feature Gould Evans’s addition to the Kansas City Art Institute

Gould Evans’s recently completed addition to the Kansas City Art Institute will be the star of a forthcoming PBS show. The semiannual Make 48 competition was recently held, and filmed, in the new David T. Beals, III Studio, where 15 teams had 48 hours to plan, prototype, and present their ideas for prices and potential licensing. The event will be edited into eight half-hour episodes, which will be aired sometime this summer.

The David T. Beals, III studio adds 5,000 square feet to the KCAI’s Volker Building, which houses the school’s sculpture department. The simple structure, clad in black matte metal paneling, is intended to stand as a counterpoint to the school’s original home, the 1896 Vanderslice mansion. The new building is filled with bright open studio spaces and the latest in fabricating technologies: laser cutters, engravers, eight types of 3-D printers, CNC routers, cameras, scanners, touchscreen interfaces, and a digital loom allow students to create and collaborate on projects of varying sizes and complexity.

“Our goal in the design process was to create a clean, blank slate with abundant light that would be flexible, both as a daily workspace and over time as educational programming and technology evolves,” explained Mark Wise, project designer at Gould Evans. “The space needed to provide an efficient, comfortable space for students to work, as well as a home for the cutting-edge technology the KCAI offers, so we designed the studio to be scalable, offering ample space around the equipment for students to move and gather in.”

The project also adds a new gallery and critique room to the school. Students at the KCAI study everything from ceramics and sculpture to animation and graphic design. The school, a private independent four-year college of art and design, provides Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in 13 majors, and a post-baccalaureate program in art education, certificate programs, and continuing education courses. The new building represents the intention of the school, as the oldest arts organization in Kansas City, to prepare its students for the future.

“Building a printing and prototyping studio that specializes in digital input and output means that the KCAI is preparing tomorrow’s workforce,” said Tony Jones, president of the KCAI. “We’re teaching advanced skills, while providing a valuable asset to our local community.”

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Facades consultant Glenn Heitmann talks retrofitting

Heitmann & Associates President and CEO Glenn Heitmann is surprised that more developers do not take advantage of one solution to the demand for new residential or commercial space: retrofitting an existing building. Like other cities in the United States, said Heitmann, Kansas City, Missouri is home to a surfeit of buildings constructed during the 1950s and 1960s “that have gone through a useful life cycle as it relates to the facade.” But while these structures might not meet contemporary demands for efficiency and comfort, “Rather than tear them down and start over, we can say there are choices,” said Heitmann. Heitmann, who will participate in a presentation block on “(Re)designing Downtown” at the upcoming Facades+AM Kansas City symposium, sees existing buildings as “clean canvases” onto which builders can project just about anything, from surface rehabilitation to a complete aesthetic update. That said, a few facade-related factors outside the design and construction teams’ control can help determine the scope of the retrofit. The first is that renovated buildings must meet current building codes. “A building built in the 1950s was constructed for that code,” said Heitmann. “But keep in mind that your new building skin has to comply [with contemporary codes]. That means anything we do now needs to be airtight and thermally efficient.” Second, explained Heitmann, would-be retrofitters must consider the condition of the anchors holding up the existing cladding. If they are in good shape, the team can opt to keep them in place. But if “over the years air or water infiltration has compromised structural integrity,” said Heitmann, they may need to start from scratch. Asbestos can also present a challenge. “Most people think about asbestos on the interior,” said Heitmann. “What I’m talking about is sealant or byproducts that make up the exterior facade.” In bringing up asbestos, he said, his intention is not to “use scare tactics,” but instead to encourage architects and builders to think through every facade renovation “clearly and holistically.” Whether of an occupied or a vacant building, said Heitmann, retrofitting can be a powerful tool by which to improve a property’s financial value—not to mention occupant comfort. One example he cited was an office building in prime location that, through renovation, catapulted from Class B to Class A. Another concerned a “very high end” residential structure constructed in the 1960s. “People were frustrated,” said Heitmann. “They loved it, they loved the views, but they saw their investment dwindling” due to inefficiencies. A revamped skin, including new glazing and framing, brought the property up to snuff. Learn more from Heitmann and other facades experts from Kansas City and beyond at Facades+AM Kansas City. Register today to secure one of the few seats remaining.

The University of Kansas’s Paola Sanguinetti on the role of the user in facade performance

Image credit: James Ewing/OTTO When it comes to using computational tools to predict the energy and cost savings associated with high performance facade design, explained Paola Sanguinetti, Professor of Architecture at The University of Kansas (KU), AEC industry professionals often leave out a critical factor: the user. "My recent research explores how we can model the relationship between the comfort of the users and their perception of the space, and how that affects [environmental performance]," said Sanguinetti, who will participate in a presentation block on "Parametric Facade Optimization at All Scales" at September’s Facades+AM Kansas City symposium. "Depending on the kind of facade utilized, the way the user modifies the space really impacts the envelope and thus the overall performance of the building." Another research priority at KU, said Sanguinetti, has to do with modeling building performance at different scales, "from thermal bridges to how the facade [as a whole] aids in energy reduction." The focus on scale, she said, is part of "a more holistic view of building environments," which considers individual buildings as components of a broader network, such as a university campus or neighborhood. "How you can look at metrics for evaluating performance on the urban scale is very relevant for Kansas City," given its smart city aims, said Sanguinetti. According to Sanguinetti, Kansas City’s design and building communities exemplify an integrated approach to modeling and fabrication. "Zahner has pioneered the collaborative approach to design specification and manufacturing," she said. The city’s sports architecture firms, too, "have a very strong collaboration with consultants." At KU, the architecture program emphasizes "sustainability, but also understanding the entire process, and the importance of collaboration," explained Sanguinetti. In 2014, for instance, the design/build program Studio 804 created The Forum, an addition to the university’s historical School of Architecture building Marvin Hall. Graduate students worked with Transsolar to evaluate the addition’s double skinned facade, including performing a survey of student use. There is, of course, always room for improvement, said Sanguinetti. The local AEC industry could do a better job of sharing data on projects. In addition, "embedding risk analysis is important to help have a good conversation about building envelopes," she said. "Any simulation is an estimation; again, the human variable is critical to understanding building performance." Meet Sanguinetti and other leading lights of Kansas City’s facades scene at Facades+AM September 15. Seating is extremely limited; register today!