Last week, el dorado was recognized with four AIA Kansas Design Excellence awards and two AIA Central States Design Excellence awards at the annual Central States conference in Manhattan, Kan. Both annual awards programs recognize “outstanding architecture coming from the region […] and have been developed to encourage and recognize excellence in design, to elevate public awareness and to recognize the architects, consultants, contractors and owners whose efforts enhance the built environment,” according to AIA CSR. We were honored and humbled to be recognized among such high caliber work from our peers throughout the Midwest.
In the AIA Kansas Design Awards:
East Ninth received a Merit Award for Excellence in Unbuilt Architecture. East Ninth is an urban infrastructure design that introduces multimodal transportation strategies and integrated artwork to a 7-block stretch of East Ninth Street in downtown and East Lawrence, Kansas.
“This project is a great example of our discipline’s growing awareness that it is our duty to engage and listen to the community. Efforts such as this gain public trust and earn a willingness to let designers do what we’re good at – envisioning vibrant, forward-looking solutions to difficult problems. This proposal is a clear example for reinventing the ways art and design can engage communities and forge urban connections.” —2016 AIA Kansas jury
Illinois Creek Ranch was recognized with an Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture. Located on a historic farmstead in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, Illinois Creek Ranch was designed for a family of five, their extended family, friends and guests. The goal of the project was to forge an emotional bond between people and unique landscape. Structures were purposefully straightforward in their vernacular appearance with a focus on innovative, nuanced detailing and contemporary material selection.
“This project stood out as a jury favorite. The beauty and clarity of the documentation and presentation of the design concept captured the jury’s imagination, which then was exceeded by the quality of the project itself. The complex of structures enhances the beautiful setting through artful site planning and exquisite detailing; a sophisticated use of both rough and pristine materials that reflect upon, while complimenting, the site and context.” —2016 AIA Kansas jury
KSU’s Design+Make Studio was recognized with a Citation for Excellence in Student Architecture for their work on Preston Outdoor Education Station. The project consists of a sequence of experiential educational stations along a trail that begins with a 300 linear foot dry stacked limestone wall at YMCA’s Camp Wood located in the Flint Hills. Built from locally-sourced materials to focus on essential elements of the prairie – insects, wind, stone, grass, and sky – the stations collectively begin to articulate the story of the Tallgrass Prairie for camp visitors.
“Simple structures elegantly detailed are expressive of the variety of interpretive opportunities to engage with the dramatic, Kansas landscape. This project is a compelling example of hands-on learning, providing students with the chance to realize the physical implications of the designs they produce.” —2016 AIA Kansas jury
Volland Store was recognized with a Merit Award for Excellence in Preservation / Adaptive Reuse. After sitting empty for 30 years, the century-old Kratzer Brothers Mercantile building in Volland, Kansas was purchased and renovated into an art gallery and community event space with a small loft apartment on the second level serving as an artist’s retreat. The design solution was simple, relying on clean forms and honoring the integrity of original materials and context of the surrounding Tallgrass Prairie.
“This represents a wonderful tactile example of progress merged with preservation – simply achieved through the careful coordination of modest and familiar materials deployed in an inventive way.” —2016 AIA Kansas jury
In the the AIA Central States Design Awards:
Shelton Marshall Residence received a Merit Award for Excellence in Architecture. The Shelton Marshall Residence is an urban home for a family of four built in the Westside neighborhood of downtown Kansas City. With a main structure consisting of just under 2000 sf, the house makes a compelling argument for quality over quantity within the context of a downtown neighborhood that is striving for increased urban vibrancy.
ReStart Housing received a Citation for Excellence in Architecture. The reStart Housing development in the Waldo neighborhood of Kansas City provides permanent housing and support services for young adults aging out of foster care, specifically those with mental-health diagnoses, in a dignified and supportive environment. The project, housing 14 one-bedroom apartments, helps these young adults move toward independence and self-sufficiency, preemptively preventing homelessness before it begins.
The jury for the Kansas Design Excellence Awards was led by Steve Dumez, FAIA, principal and director of design at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and included Byron Mouton, AIA, of Bild Design and Judith Kinnard, FAIA, professor at Tulane University. The Central States Design Awards jury was led by Allison Williams, FAIA, vice president and design director at AECOM, and included Mark R. Cavagnero, FAIA, of Mark Cavagnero Associates and Laura Hartman, AIA, of Fernau & Hartman Architects, Inc.