The Echo Ridge Community Center was completed this spring in Topeka, Kansas, just in time to plant an early summer garden. The Center was built to serve the residents of 30 new affordable housing duplexes in the Echo Ridge Development and the surrounding neighborhoods.
The building is divided into four main public zones: Community Zone, Food Zone, Adult Zone, and Kid Zone. Each of the four interior zones connects to a sheltered exterior space to encourage residents to spend more time outdoors.
The outdoor areas are shaded by an awning of cedar slats, corrugated fiberglass and, in a few years, tall river birch trees. (more...)
Two billboards rise above Missouri Bank’s Crossroads Branch, 930 square feet of prime advertising space on a cross-braced frame of blackened steel. Instead of touting self-help conventions or the latest Tech N9ne album, these billboards are occupied year round by the work of local artists. The Artboards are a production of the Charlotte Street Foundation and Art through Architecture, two fantastically generous organizations created to support Kansas City artists. This year four pairs of artists will be featured, each for three months at a time.
While an array of eldo-fabricated furniture sits firmly on the floor inside Missouri Bank, this month marks the first time the work of an eldo has gone airborne. Gavin’s illustration Kansas City Reconstructed went up on the southwest-facing Artboard just in time for First Friday in August. (more...)
It’s just not summer without summer camp. We recently had the chance to revisit our childhood camping adventures (the campfire songs, the water balloon fights, the poison ivy) while designing two bunkhouses at Girl Scouts Camp Prairie Schooner. The buildings, sited along a gravel path between the dining hall and fire ring, were completed this spring and dubbed California Trail and Oregon Trail.
We don’t expect the Girl Scouts to spend too much time in the bunkhouses--there are just too many things to do at Camp Prairie Schooner. Practice markmanship on the archery range. Fly through the forest on a zipline. Cool off in the swimming pool. Descend the camp’s 40 foot tall rappel tower. (more...)
Southwest Boulevard is a remarkable Kansas City street--a mess of storage facilities, lumber yards, candy-apple red nightclubs and Mexican restaurants serving Sunday morning menudo. Right before the Boulevard crosses under the railroad tracks and enters the Crossroads, you’ll find one block of fully intact, turn-of-the century brick warehouses, stepping up and down before sprouting muscular stainless steel tanks and a lone smokestack. This is the home of the Boulevard Brewing Company: tenth largest craft brewery in the U.S.; largest American-owned brewery in Missouri; and the source of untold thousands of empty bottles in our recycling bins over the years.
We completed the Boulevard Cellar 1 Expansion at the beginning of the summer. We served as both architect and general contractor for the building portion of the project, an exciting addition to el dorado’s Design/Build portfolio. (more...)
Summer in Kansas City is one of the finest times to be a carnivore, the devastating heat made bearable by the smell of slow-smoked meat. Both heat and meat were present on a recent Friday afternoon at el dorado. A few brave students from our K-State summer studio fired up the charcoal grill on eldo’s shade-starved “outdoor patio” along Avenida Cesar E. Chavez. The rest of us took shelter in the cooler confines of the shop to reap the rewards of their labor–sausages and burgers from the Local Pig Charcuterie. The food was summarily devoured. A survery was taken, and the results are in. eldo recommends Local Pig. (more...)