Kansas City’s downtown core is undergoing nothing short of an urban renaissance. There are large-scale icons–the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Sprint Center Arena, the Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity–and smaller, vital improvements–better parks, new grocery stores, countless streetscape and infrastructure projects. There are murmurs of other positive developments in the area, with the UMKC Conservatory considering a move. All in all, there’s a strong uprising of positive energy.
Before downtown can be truly livable, however, it must support familes. To support families, it must have good options for education. Crossroads Academy is seeing to it that this need is met. The school is a critical component of downtown life. (more...)
At the northeast corner of Kansas City’s Lykins neighborhood there’s a triangular swath of land, 18.3 acres in size. Driving past the cracking asphalt and the chain-link fences, you may see it as a long-abandoned eyesore, or you may miss it entirely. By now we know better. We see it as a site with unlimited potential.
Independence Avenue forms the longer northern leg of the site, a busy stretch of handpainted, multi-lingual storefronts. Hardesty Avenue forms the shorter western leg, a quieter street lined with homes and four-plex apartments. A railroad forms the southeastern diagonal. (more...)
Barring another early spring snowstorm, the patio at Pizzabella South will be opening soon. The new restaurant features the patented indoor-outdoor dining experience pioneered at Pizzabella’s original Crossroads location. It’s located in Overland Park’s new Mission Farms development and, based solely on good taste, we would call it the anchor tenant.
What features make Pizzabella’s indoor/outdoor dining experience so pioneering? Why, the durable, built-in, Ipê and steel furniture. The east-facing outdoor seating doubling as spatial edge. The eleven-foot tall aluminum sliding doors (call them triple bypass–it sounds like heart surgery). The cleanly concealed slat-wall fluorescent lighting. The clever planning and permitting approaches required to overcome a few self-defeating city ordinances. (more...)
On Thursday, March 28, Theaster Gates visits KCAI’s Epperson Auditorium as part of the Current Perspectives Lecture Series.
Theaster was raised in West Chicago. Though his work has spread throughout the world, he still resides in Chicago, and many of his projects are based there. Theaster’s art is indelibly linked to architecture and the issues that influence it–race, class, inequality, place. He’s built his practice around the creation of “new economies” in blighted Midwest neighborhoods–using art, creativity, and culture to address residents’ fundamental needs. If you had to categorize Theaster’s hard-to-categorize work, you could say it falls into the realm of "place-making"–performance, site interventions, micro-development and sculpture. (more...)
The Kansas City Business Journal recently announced its Capstone Award winners, and, on a long list of notable Kansas City projects, Girl Scouts Camp Prairie Schooner appeared again. The Trail Center at Camp Prairie Schooner was one of three winners in the Architectural Design category.
We credit the success of the project to the owner, the Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri. They desired more than a traditional bunkhouse. From the start of the project, it was their ambition to create a modern camping experience for a century-old organization, and they believed design could be the catalyst. (more...)