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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.

7 October, 2011 | Culture

Born Supremacy

Meet Magda Born, our new resource librarian turned Rock, Paper, Scissors superstar. Because she managed to beat the entire office in a double-bracket tournament of the classic school yard game, we’re sending her to MO Bank’s 3rd annual Rock, Paper, Scissors throwdown tournament.  Let’s not talk about the fact that she’s claimed to have never played the game before but somehow beat everyone (there are still some bruised egos in the office).

The event is taking place tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at MO Bank Crossroads. Join us for some fun and good beverages (the Roasterie and Boulevard will be there as well).

Are you ready throwdown contenders? Magda is.

15 January, 2011 | Art, Community Outreach, Culture

Team Helix CANstructs

Jan. 12, 2011: Team Helix competed against other Kansas City design and engineering firms to help the fight against hunger and CANstruct (construction where the primary building supply is canned food) a self-supporting structure. At the end of the competition, all cans used in designs were donated and distributed to families in need, with the assistance of the Harvesters Community Food Network.

So, Helix did a submarine out of (navy beans + pork and beans) cans.

Read on. It makes sense.

“Based on the classic science fiction novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, 20,000 Cans Under the Sea is a representation of the Nautilus, the submarine featured in the novel and its later film adaptations. Much like a can under the sea, a submarine is a completely sealed environment carrying food and supplies to last months at a time. Interestingly, dried beans were once widely included among staple supplies of the U.S. Navy – hence the term “navy beans” and hence, also, our choice of can.”

We may not have sunk the competition, but we’re pleased with our sub. The structure rises nearly seven feet in the air, took 5 hours to CANstruct (plus a handful of hours to plan), and it includes roughly 3,000 cans and water bottles. Follow the links below to see additional pictures of team Helix in action, some news reports, and a stop-motion video of the CANstruction process. For more information about CANstruction, visit the Harvesters website.

Kansas City Star Images

Kansas City Star Video

Helix CANstruction Time-Lapse

3 November, 2010 | Culture

Helix to Host AIA-KC Social Hour

We know the notice is a bit late, but if you’ve been watching the AIA-Kansas City Events Calendar you know that we’re hosting the AIA’s November Social Hour.

The doors open at 5:30 pm, promptly following the AIA KC Board Meeting. So take this as an opportunity to come down to the Crossroads, say hello, have some snacks, enjoy a beverage, and meet (new?) friends. The event is free and open to all AIA/Architecture-related people. We’d love to see you.

Where’s Helix?

1629 Walnut
Kansas City, MO 64108

Click here for our location on Google Maps.

If you happen to get lost on your way over, give us a call at 816.300.0300 and we’ll do our best to sort you out.

See you tonight!

5 September, 2010 | Culture, Recognition, Sustainability

Helix Bikes/Walks/Carpools its Way to First Place!

A few weeks ago we shared with you that Helix was taking part in the Green Commute Challenge; a regional competition hosted by the Mid-Amaerica Regional Council aimed at removing vehicles from the road during peak times – which in turn positively impacts the city on rather unfortunate ozone days.

45 teams, and 1,158 people participated in the challenge, effectively saving:

  • 607,658 miles of driving
  • 562,042 pounds of emissions
  • $328,743 in driving costs

Helix came out on top of Small Employers, and overall ranked third in participation points when compared to all competitors! Way to go, team Helix (and take that, competition). Well done to all participants for taking part in a two-month event that sought to positively impact not only our environment, but our city. If you’re curious about what your own commute costs you in dollars, and how it effects the environment, take a look at the emissions calculator, provided by KCATA.

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