For the past ten years, Helix has sponsored a scholarship competition for a 2nd year architecture studio at University of Missouri Kansas City in honor of the late Edwin “Bud” Persons. Bud was a magnetic, enthusiastic, and passionate interior architect at Helix and faculty member at the UMKC School of Architecture & Urban Planning who inspired his co-workers, students, and clients alike. When Bud unexpectedly passed away in 2002, Helix chose to remember him in a way that would allow Bud posthumously to inspire students and to support a program he held in the highest regard.
In addition to the connection Bud had to the University, this year in particular Helix has a proud affiliation with UMKC. This fall, Helix and partner HGA were awarded the UMKC Downtown Conservatory of Music and Dance landmark project in the Kansas City Crossroads, adjacent to the Kaufman Center for Performing Arts. John Eck, the outstanding assistant professor who lead this 2nd year architecture studio, chose this exciting conjuncture as an opportunity for his students to have their finger on the Conservatory pulse. He created a premise and program for their project to correlate to the University’s instigation of a downtown campus. The project was a mixed-use music store to supplement the downtown UMKC conservatory, including five apartments, a café, and some ancillary spaces. The results were impressive and inspiring.
This year, the winner of the 2014 Bud Prize certainly would have made Bud proud. Harison Pitchford, this year’s Bud Prize recipient, displayed excellence in all aspects of design. His thoughtful and provoking solution derived from a process steeped in hard work, ardor, creativity, and unmistakable talent. In fact, Harison’s capabilities inspired a discussion of innate versus learned skills amongst several of the event attendees. Certainly Harison worked tirelessly on the design, presentation, hand drawings, diagrams, graphics, and model for his solution; however, it was equally apparent that Harison possesses unique abilities and truly is gifted in the realm of design.
In addition to the winner, Harison Pitchford, two honorable mentions were awarded to Chelsea Bainbridge and Alyssa Sackman. Chelsea’s unit floor plans and music store exhibited great understanding of interior scale of space; and Alyssa’s compact, diminutive facility featured an open courtyard, or quad, that was delicate and inspiring as a student hub for the downtown campus.
Congratulations to you all, and thank you for perpetuating the passion and legacy of Bud Persons.