Browsing Culture

5 October, 2012 | Culture, Random peek into Helix

Helix Day 2012

Helix Day gives us all a chance to relax, bond with our families, and celebrate the camaraderie that we find at work.

This year it also gave us a chance to yell loudly and wildly in a socially-acceptable setting.

After work last Friday, we packed up and headed over to the Livestrong Sporting Park to tailgate, eat and cheer Sporting KC to a 2-0 victory over Chicago.



On Wednesday, September 19th Helix was pleased to host Vitra – a company known for its innovative and unique approach to commercial workspace design. A special thank you to our speakers Tina Burger and Margit Geist!

Employee Spotlight

This week we are featuring Scott Gibson.

Current Role: Architect

Current Project: Milburn Country Club, KCUMB


What’s your design philosophy?

The best designs come from solving the problems the client didn’t know they had.

How do you break a creative block?

Frank Sinatra and glass of wine usually does the trick.

Why do you do what you do?

I love taking an idea, purifying it, and watching it manifest itself into being.


Best Movie Villain: Darth Vader

World Saving Mission: Probably sounds like a broken record, but bringing quality and resolved design solutions to the masses.

Current Read: Le Corbusier’s Toward a New Architecture

Guilty Pleasure:  Burberry, it’s a dangerous obsession

Overrated:  People’s Opinion

Underrated:  The value of an architect

Coffee or Tea?  COFFEE!

Vampires or Zombies?  Definitely vampires. Villains with castles and suits, how could you go wrong?

29 August, 2012 | Culture, Helix People

Helix Summer Softball

This past Saturday the Helix softball team competed in the Architect’s Summer League Softball Tournament.  With 14 teams in the league, Helix’s season record got them a 12 seed in the bracket. But with drive in their hearts and rain in the sky, Helix put up an impressive showing in the tournament.  Below  are the game scores and highlights.

Game 1

Helix vs AWA   22 – 11

We hit 3 homeruns in the first game, CJ-1, Joe-1, Eric Solberg-1

Game 2

Helix vs Populous   19-16

We hit 3 homeruns Jeremy Catlett-2, Ryan Hunter-1

Game 3

Helix vs HMN   3-18

1 in the park homerun- Tommy Schweitzer

Thank you to the whole Helix team for participating this summer!  Let’s have another great season next summer!

Team Roster

CJ Pennington

Ryan Hunter

Josh Hartman

Betsy Solberg

Jim Kersten

Joe Jimenez

Eric Solberg

Emily Welch

Tommy Schweitzer

Cale Sadowski

Jeremy Catlett

Danielle Vevea

Carly Pumphrey

Britt Pumphrey

Katie Vossman

Eric Vossman

Mason Hansen

Scott Gibson

Mark Neibling

David Garman

Darius Hollwell

Matt Kersten

Betsy Kersten

Kate Steib


Employee Spotlight


This week we are featuring Cale Sadowski.  Cale has been with Helix for just about 1 year.  Before Helix, Cale spent time designing theaters in New York.

Current Role: Staff Architect

Current Project: The Lowe & Campbell Building


What’s your design philosophy?

Truth in materials. Charm in spaces. Wit in execution.

How do you break a creative block?

I pick out an album to put me in a different frame of mind. Could be Gershwin, could be the Clash. You never know.

Why do you do what you do?

I’ve always liked making things. Architecture is the biggest scale at which you can make a “thing”.


Best Movie Villain: HAL 9000.

World Saving Mission: Rid cities of surface lots. They absolutely kill urbanity.

Current Read: Building Design and Construction (Licensing Exam materials)

Guilty Pleasure:  Cinnamon Toast

Overrated:  Kale

Underrated:  Sweet Potatoes

Coffee or Tea?  Coffee

Vampires or Zombies?  Werewolves?

Helix Annual Summer Staff Meeting

Recently, the Helix staff took a break from the office for the afternoon and traveled to the east side of Kansas City.  While typically the primary purpose for an annual meeting is to update staff on the status of the company, this outing was so much more.

After a delicious southern style lunch at Papa Lew’s, the staff viewed 3 project sites.  The first was the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio-sciences Campus which is working with Helix to develop a new master plan for the future direction of the school.  The second, Highland Place Apartments offer a refresh to housing options in a neighborhood that has seen neglect in the past.  Finally, Helix viewed the future site of the East Police Patrol Campus.  The project will consist of a state-of-the-art Crime Lab, and will be situated 27th & Prospect, the heart of a neighborhood with one of the highest crime rates in the nation.

After this introduction to the area, the Helix staff settled in at the historic Mutual Musicians Foundation where Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Police Commissioner Alvin Brooks spoke about the history of the East Side and the 27th & Prospect neighborhood.

Reeves Weideman and Commissioner Brooks

Following a brief update on the status of Helix itself, staffers were able to enjoy the Piano styling of Kansas City Jazz Legend Luqman Hamza, who, at 80 years old, also shared a few of his experiences and thoughts about the East Side.

Luqman Hamza, Jazz Legend

From there, the staff ventured to 18th and vine to experience the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum, and finish the day with a drink at the at the 9th Inning Sports Bar.  Overall, the annual summer meeting offered the staff a glimpse into an often overlooked cultural center.

Jason Parson and Congressman Cleaver

Thank you to Jason Parson of Parson & Associates (Grandson of the great Jay McShann) for organizing such an amazing and enlightening afternoon.  Helix is thrilled to be a part of a community with such a rich history and promising future.

Helix Staff

Videographer: Ernes Echols

Photographer: Lynn Hinkle

Friday Happy Hour

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Every Friday, Helix staffers gather round the fireplace to relax after a long week’s work.  Last Friday, Erin Stork and Danielle Vevea were the guest bartenders stirring up a great lemonade with fresh strawberries and home-grown basil.  What a refreshing escape from the heat!

Look for more guest bartending features in the future.

Make It Count 5K

Click for link to!

Helix is proud to sponsor the inaugural Spencer C. Duncan Make It Count 5K Run this summer in honor of the one year anniversary of a fallen member of the Helix family. Army Specialist Spencer C. Duncan was killed in action on August 6, 2011. Spencer is the son of Dale Duncan, principal architect at Helix Architecture + Design.

We invite you to join us in celebrating the life of this young hero. Please take a moment to view the attached link, share it with your friends, and consider how you might want to participate in this exciting new event. Weather you like to run, walk, volunteer, or cheer, we hope to see you August 4th.

31 October, 2011 | Culture, Helix People

Color + Couture!

Helix recently participated in Kansas City’s 6th Annual IIDA Color+Couture Fashion show, where A+D firms are paired with a manufacturer to produce a runway outfit.

The event was held a few weeks ago (Friday, Sept. 23, 2011) at the Kansas City Convention Center Ballroom. Helix was paired with Patcraft carpet and charged with creating an outfit with a musical as inspiration. Helix chose Moulin Rouge!

Here’s our 20-word description:

Equal parts circus and extravagance, a modern take on can-can inspired by the place where it all began: Moulin Rouge.

For our dress creation, we used unbacked carpet in red and dark grey tones, then added netting, trimmings, grommets, and ribbon to make it runway-worthy. Our creation turned out AMAZING! (if we might say so ourselves …) Who would’ve thought carpet would so readily turn into couture!

A few production photos – our Helix team hard at work with sewing, dress fittings and train studies.

Here’s Carly Pumphrey (our lovely model) with Katie Vossman.

Carly again, also a diligent team member, with Sara Fernandez Cendon, working on the train.

Sarah Godfrey (that’s me) at the sewing machine.

Photos from the day of the show – view from the runway and backstage.

Jim Rothfork taking care of last-minute details.

And Carly on the runway!

Check out all the photos from Color+Couture’s facebook page here.

Photos via Christine May | Click Photography, lemonlime |, and Joe Xiong | fotographix studio.

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