Posts tagged with "kansas":

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2017 Best of Design Awards for Student Work

2017 Best of Design Award for Student Work: Preston Outdoor Education Station Designer: el dorado School: Kansas State University, College of Architecture, Planning, and Design Location: Elmdale, Kansas YMCA’s Camp Wood called on Kansas State University’s fifth-year architecture studio to design and build an outdoor education station on its property within the Tallgrass Prairie, North America’s most endangered landscape. Two requirements were given: The project must survive annual prairie burns, and the work must dissolve elegantly into the landscape. What began as a simple shade structure evolved into a flexible, programmable, and experiential backdrop for intimately connecting campers to the immediate landscape. Each station, designed and built by students, engages the environment and locally sourced materials to focus on essential elements of the prairie: insects, wind, stone, grass, and sky. The stations are connected by a pathway that extends from a 300-linear-foot dry-stacked limestone wall. "This is an elegant pavilion, and an impressive scale for a group of students. The detailing is well-executed." —Matt Shaw, senior editor, The Architect's Newspaper (juror) Camp Wood Director and Client: Ken Wold Stone Mason: Luke Koch, Koch Construction Specialties Concrete: Rick Mitchell, Mitchell-Markowitz Construction Contractor: Jay Scott, Scott Construction Machine Shop: R-TECH Tool and Machine   Honorable Mention Project: Waldo Duplex Designer: el dorado School: Kansas State University, College of Architecture, Planning, and Design Location: Kansas City, Missouri Designed by a group of fifth-year architecture students from Kansas State University, this project addressed the needs of a historic neighborhood with a severe housing-cost burden. At 725 square feet per unit, efficiency allowed for high-quality finishes, custom cabinetry, and a generous quality of light and social space despite a budget of $290,000 ($200 per square foot). Honorable Mention Project: Big Vic and the Blue Furret Designer: Rajah Bose School: California College of the Arts Location: San Francisco, California Bic Vic and the Blue Furret imagines what would happen if the architects of San Francisco’s Victorian period mashed together their kit of parts. Recognizable elements—like the turret and mansard cupola—combine to spawn a new sort of creature.
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2016 Best of Design Award for Student Work: Sensory Pavilion by Dirt Works Studio, University of Kansas

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it's grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you.

2016 Best of Design Award for Student Work: Sensory Pavilion

Team: Dirt Works Studio, University of Kansas Location: Lawrence, KS

Dedicated to the senses, the open-air sensory pavilion is grounded with natural materials: a compacted earth floor, walls of rammed earth and charred cedar, and gravel. From the sound of gravel beneath the feet to the smell of charred wood and dappled light through the rear screen, it’s truly an immersive experience.

Community Partner Audio-Reader Network

Benefactors Randy Austin and Colinda Stailey Austin Structural Engineer Apex Engineers Timber Supplier Wood Haven Roofing Supplier Diamond Everley Roofing

Honorable Mention, Student Work: Resource.full

Team: Fani Christina Papadopoulou Location: Boston, MA

Completed at Harvard Graduate School of Design, this project explores the untapped potential of Columbia Point in Boston, as well as the numerous islands in Boston Harbor by creating transportation and infrastructural systems to better connect them.

Honorable Mention, Student Work: Kamama Prairie Dwelling

Team: MetroLAB, University of Cincinnati School of Architecture & Interior Design Location: Peebles, OH

This 160-square-foot house takes the shipping container as its framework, enhancing it with site-present materials such as barn wood and roofing tin to create a simple, sustainable, and beautiful dwelling.

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Gould Evans designs a new home for “The 13 Original Rules of Basketball” at the University of Kansas

On Friday, May 13, the University of Kansas opened the long-anticipated DeBruce Center, a 32,000-square-foot addition to the university’s historic Allen Fieldhouse arena. The new $21 million structure was built in order to house the two pieces of paper on which Dr. James Naismith outlined “The Original 13 Rules of Basketball” in 1891. University of Kansas alumnus David Booth and his wife, Suzanne Booth purchased the two pages at an auction in 2010 for $4.3 million—a record for sports memorabilia that year—as a gift for the school.

The university hired architecture and planning firm Gould Evans to provide a proper home for the rules. But after researching student traffic, the firm realized that the designated site is a nexus between northeast academic buildings and southwest athletic facilities, and should therefore serve as more than just a game-day museum. Kelly Dreyer, project designer at Gould Evans, told AN, “In order to engage the student body population the majority of days a year, we married two programs that are not typically seen together—one obviously being the museum, and the other, student dining.”

The main feature of the DeBruce Center is an interior pathway that takes students and visitors across three floors that track the development of basketball’s rules, and weaves into an exhibition space, a gift shop, a cafe, a 60-seat restaurant, a 200-seat dining commons, and an athletic nutrition center for men’s and women’s basketball. Rather than utilizing typical museum display cases, Gould Evans integrated the exhibit into the aluminum architecture. Basketball’s current 45,000-word rules are engraved into aluminum scrim and wrap Naismith’s original 450-word document. This contrast gives visitors a unique understanding of how the game of basketball has evolved over the past 125 years.

Electro-chromic glass controls the amount of ultraviolet light that reaches the document and adds a surprise factor to visitors’ arrival at the pages. At the push of a button, “The Original 13 Rules of Basketball” illuminates, and Naismith’s voice tells his story of creating the sport. This exhibition path concludes along an aluminum-clad bridge, which extends into the Allen Fieldhouse arena.

As another nod to its notable neighbor, Gould Evans utilized the same type of maple used on basketball courts throughout custom built-in furnishings in the dining areas. Also, the glass facade structure reflects the adjacent building and surrounding context, while simultaneously making a statement and revealing a destination for students and teachers.

From the exterior, one sees into the movement and dynamics of the space, which is estimated to receive hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. A three-sided courtyard and landscaped plaza are formed by the adjacent parking garage and the new, three-story structure, which glows at night to invite basketball fans and students to the outdoor space and facility.

Providing exhibitions and student dining commons, the sculptural structure connects the University’s Naismith Drive gateway and existing student pathways. The DeBruce Center, was designed as a home for just two pieces of paper, but now engages the entire University of Kansas campus.

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el dorado rehabilitates an 100-year-old prairie mercantile into a bright art space and apartment

As of 2014, the town of Volland, Kansas, had a population of two. The near ghost town is also home to a two-story brick building that a Kansas City couple thought would make an excellent place for a gallery and artist retreat. The job of designing an unexpected space in an unsuspecting town fell to Kansas City–based el dorado inc. The collapsed roof and floors, paired with solid brick walls and limestone foundations, meant that el dorado had an empty shell to fill as it pleased.

Built in 1913 by the Kratzer brothers as a mercantile, a post office, and space for the town’s two telephones, the building was the cultural hub of the surrounding community—which was much larger then. The Dust Bowl, the Depression, and World War II all took their toll on the area and its population, and the Kratzer Brothers Mercantile closed in 1971 when co-owner (and one of the brothers) Otto Kratzer passed away.

Forty-five years later, the building has been given new life. Once again a place of gathering and community, the Volland General Store is a flexible gallery and event space with a small artist’s retreat and living quarters. A credit to the clients’ programmatic foresight and el dorado’s simple yet rich space, the Volland General Store has already been used for a photography gallery, rural electrical cooperative board meetings, corporate retreats, and a handful of ice cream socials.

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From the exterior, very little has changed from what the building may have looked like 100 years ago. A simple storefront looks out over a small pad of paving and some scruffy grass. A muted gray, used throughout the project, adds to the unassuming quality, and no signage is legible from the outside.

However, the interior is a different story. By not rebuilding the second story, el dorado was able to take full advantage of two stories of windows to produce a tall, bright space for events and shows. Plaster was stripped from the walls, exposing the brick shell, while a new, carefully detailed steel structure was added to reinforce the entire building. Because el dorado has its own metal-fabricating shop in its office, it was able to have a great deal of control over this aspect of the project. Understanding that the framework would be one of the main features of the space, the firm fabricated the connections to be as clean as possible. The steel work, painted the same gray as the storefront, is also the framework for the gallery lighting. This clean, restrained touch of the front of the interior space is set in contrast to the back of the space, which is dominated by a large white mass.

This two-story block, offset on all sides from the existing building, holds the structure´s utility programs and living space. The lower level mass includes a service space for staging, catering, and show prep, as well as the public restrooms. The upper level is a studio-size apartment complete with kitchenette and bath. The simple unit takes advantage of the large original window openings and borrows additional light from the gallery space. When occupied, the apartment also increases the town’s population by nearly 50 percent, a statistic few housing projects can claim.

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Here’s a bright idea: Tech firms wants to gather data through Kansas City street lights

Streetlights and lampposts are good for more than finding your way home and singin' in the rain. Tech firms Cisco Systems and Sensity Networks plan to help Kansas City roll out smart lighting that can broadcast and share data with city agencies and private companies. "Cisco's and Sensity's intelligent lighting platform transforms each lighting fixture into a sensory node in a powerful, broadband wireless network, creating a light sensory network for municipalities,” reads a Cisco press release. As part of a planned public wifi network, the smart lights could potentially gather and share data about public safety, traffic, and even retail analytics, although the release doesn't detail any specific programs. Lux magazine put the announcement in context:
Other cities embarking on similar projects include Los Angeles, San Diego, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Bristol, England, among others. In Denmark, the Danish Outdoor Lighting Laboratory is testing many of the principles. Hamburg, Germany is using smart streetlighting to help  it more efficiently run Europe's second largest port.
Kansas City is no stranger to high-tech experiments. Google's pilot program for high-speed, fiber-optic broadband infrastructure kicked up the terms “fiberhood” and even “Silicon Prairie.”
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VernerJohnson Sets Museum Ablaze with Dichroic Glass

Faceted facade evokes regenerative prairie burns.

For most projects, admits VernerJohnson's Jonathan Kharfen, architects steer clear of evoking a potentially destructive force like fire. But Museum at Prairiefire, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) outpost in Overland Park, Kansas, proved an exception to the rule. Because Prairiefire houses AMNH's traveling exhibits, its content is constantly changing, and thus provided little guidance in terms of an overarching design concept. Kharfen instead looked to the location. "What is the area about?" he asked. "For me the first thing that came to mind were the prairie burns. Coming from Boston, I'd never seen anything like it." Using dynamic materials including dichroic glass and iridescent stainless steel, VernorJohnson crafted a faceted high performance envelope that embodies the color, movement, and regenerative power of fire. Not long after landing on the fire metaphor, said Kharfen, "I knew of a couple of materials that would be perfect, because for me it's all about movement and light." He began researching dichroic glass, a composite glass that changes colors depending on the angle of view. The museum's sustainability goals—the project is targeting LEED Silver—dictated that the material would double as an insulating unit, the first such application in the United States. But that presented an additional challenge, as products with the dichroic properties embedded in the glass itself would break the budget. To lower costs, the architects collaborated with fabricator Goldray Industries to design an assembly incorporating dichroic film from 3M. The solution turned out to be an aesthetic boon as well as a cost-cutter, as the film itself carries a flame-like pattern. "It's subtly dimply, it's animated, it's beautiful," said Kharfen.
  • Facade Manufacturer Goldray Industries (dichroic glass), Millennium Tiles (metal panels), Kawneer (curtain wall framing, window and door frames)
  • Architects VernerJohnson
  • Facade Installer JPI Glass (glazing), Loveall Custom Sheet Metal (metal panels), D&D Masonry (stone)
  • Facade Consultant Structural Engineering Associates (structural engineering)
  • Location Overland Park, KS
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System dichroic glass veneer curtain wall with custom framing, LIC stainless steel panels, masonry
  • Products Goldray Industries custom dichroic glass using 3M dichroic film, Millennium Tiles LIC stainless steel panels, Kawneer custom curtain wall framing and door and window frames, Kansas limestone, Northfield Block Company architectural cast stone
Kharfen's team paired the dichroic glass with a second shape-shifting material, Light Interference Coated (LIC) stainless steel, ultimately applying panels in a variety of color and finish combinations. "With the stainless steel, I wanted to create [the appearance of] flame bursts and sparks," explained Kharfen. "I didn't want to apply it in a random way." Instead, the architects arranged the panels in a gradient, with blue (near the bottom) giving way to burgundies and reds and finally to golden yellow. For Kharfen, it was not enough that the materials themselves convey a sense of life and movement. "I wanted them to be dynamic shapes, dynamic in plan as well as in elevation," he said. His solution—a faceted curtain wall—upped the project's technical ante. To avoid cluttering up the lobby space with columns, Kharfen worked with structural engineers Structural Engineering Associates to design a custom support system of stainless steel tubes fronted by angled mullions, to which the curtain wall is attached as a veneer. To accommodate the 14 unique angles involved in the faceting, curtain wall manufacturer Kawneer developed a new adjustable mullion, a hinged plate with a 180-degree range of movement. Given the museum's ever-changing content, the architects treated the exhibit spaces as "black boxes," said Kharfen. "For the solid areas I wanted to evoke the overlapping, curved forms of the hills." The client, Fred Merrill of Merrill Companies, loved the stonework at VernorJohnson's Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas, which suggests striated rock formations. "He asked, 'Can't we just do that here?'" recalled Kharfen. "I said, 'No, we're going to do something different.' I wanted a gradient." To cut costs and simplify installation, the architects whittled a more complex scheme down to a mix of two different stones in each band, with the bands varying in width. Again, the referent is fire: the walls begin with a charcoal-colored architectural cast stone before moving through Kansas limestone in shades of red, brown, gold, and off-white. Together, the stone-clad exhibit halls and the lobby curtain wall complete the picture of a prairie burn. "I wanted the fire elements to engulf and connect the solid volumes," said Kharfen. "I did them as lines of fire, because, historically, that's how these fires were set." But while the burn metaphor extends to every level of detail, including the flicker-flame-inspired sloping at the tops of the doors and windows, for the project architect the museum design ends where it began: with the primary materials. Speaking again of the dichroic glass, he concluded, "I cannot think of a material that looks more like fire than this glass."
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Gould Evans Rewraps Kansas Library

Terra cotta rain screen transforms brutalist eyesore into energy-efficient community space.

Considered an aesthetic and functional failure almost since its construction in 1974, the old public library in Lawrence, Kansas, was overdue for a renovation four decades later. Gould Evans' challenge was to transform the low-slung brutalist behemoth, a poor environmental performer lacking both adequate daylighting and a sense of connection to the community, into an asset. "The desire was to try to come up with a building that basically reinvented the library for the community," said vice president Sean Zaudke. Rather than tacking an addition on to one end of the existing structure, the architects elected to wrap a 20,000-square-foot reading room and open stacks area around the old facade. In so doing, they altered the exterior for the better, swapping bare concrete for an earth-hued terra cotta rain screen punctuated by plentiful glazing. They also significantly enhanced the library's environmental performance, with early estimates suggesting that the new Lawrence Public Library will see a 50 percent reduction in energy usage despite a 50 percent increase in square footage. The decision to entirely enclose the old building within the addition was a critical component of the architects' sustainability strategy. "It allowed us to come up with a continuous facade utilizing a continuous insulation system," explained Zaudke. "It helped a lot with energy performance." Gould Evans chose a terra cotta rain screen from NBK to better tie the library to its surroundings. The building is located in an interstitial zone, immediately adjacent to buildings constructed in the 1950s but not far from Lawrence's thriving historic downtown. "We selected terra cotta because it could play by both sets of rules," said Zaudke. "It has an historic connotation, but it's also a much more modern-looking material."
  • Facade Manufacturer NBK (terra cotta), EFCO Corporation (storefront/curtain wall), Insulite Glass Company (glazing)
  • Architects Gould Evans
  • Facade Installer Drewco Inc. (terra cotta), Kennedy Glass (storefront/curtain wall/glazing)
  • Facade Consultant Building Science Corporation
  • Location Lawrence, KS
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System terra cotta rain screen, high performance glazing and Solatubes, tongue-in-groove wood siding over existing concrete
  • Products NBK TERRART-MID, EFCO S433 storefront, EFCO S5600 curtain wall, EFCO D318 doors, PPG Solarban 70XL glass
Daylighting was another of the architects' key concerns. "Because there were so few windows in the old library, wherever you went there was a sort of phototropic behavior," said Zaudke. "People just gathered around the windows. The rest was not as utilized." Gould Evans significantly altered the user experience by creating an open reading room within the wraparound addition, all of which is exposed to daylight. Other library functions are contained within the core, which in turn is lit both by a continuous clerestory and a series of Solatubes. The clerestory also prevents glare within the reading room by illuminating the inside of the facade. Gould Evans used prescriptive data to determine the overall balance of terra cotta to glass on the new facade—about 60/40—as well as on each exterior wall. To reduce thermal gain on the east and west faces, the architects placed terra cotta baguettes over each horizontal slit window. Together, the baguettes and the depth of the wall act as sunshades. As for Lawrence Public Library's old concrete facade, "we didn't want to just pretend it wasn't there," said Zaudke. Instead, Gould Evans partially overlaid it with a tongue-in-groove system of unstained wood. "The concrete had a harsh feel to it," explained Zaudke. "By wrapping it with wood and revealing it in places, there's this nice dialog that occurs. Everywhere it opens up is where some core function reveals itself—it's an interesting dynamic." At the library entrance, the architects brought the wood outside, encased in glass to protect it from the elements, said Zaudke. "That vocabulary of cracking open the library, of making it accessible, is present at the entry."
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Congress Meets to Consider New Bill Seeking to Eject Gehry’s Design of the Eisenhower Memorial

Congress held a hearing today to discuss the funding and controversial design of the Dwight D. Eisenhower memorial designed by Frank Gehry. Representative Rob Bishop is leading the charge with a new bill that aims to oust Gehry from the $142 million project and hold a new competition to find a more “appropriate” design. The Washington Post reported that the main gripe is over the massive metal tapestries encompassing the memorial, which would display images of Eisenhower’s early childhood in Kansas. The Eisenhower family has expressed that the grandiose scale of the design, specifically the tapestries, is out of touch with the former president’s character. Architect magazine live tweeted that there were few defenders of Gehry's memorial at the hearing except for Rep. Holt, and a fair share of confusion over what this bill entails and ultimately means for the future of the memorial.
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A Streetcar Named KC?

Kansas City, recently outfitted with superfast internet courtesy of Google, is on the move. And KC taxpayers voted to keep up the momentum this week, authorizing a special taxing district to help fund a downtown streetcar. A transportation development district would cultivate the 2-mile, $101 million route from Union Station to the River Market. The line was shortened by 300 feet after a scramble to make up for $25 million in TIGER grants that the city applied for and was not awarded. Funding for the modified plan came from the Mid-America Regional Council. Now efforts turn to finding an operator. Kansas City will work with the Port Authority to create a Streetcar Authority—a step which has become a hang-up for similar efforts in Detroit. But Wednesday’s vote is a clear signal of public and political support for expanded public transit in the city. KC is also lining up funding for a second phase of streetcar lines, totaling 22 miles of track crisscrossing the city.