Browsing Helix People

16 December, 2015 | Academic, Awards, Helix People

The Bud Prize

Award Recipients3

Every fall, Helix teams up with the UMKC Department of Architecture and Urban Planning for The Bud Prize – an annual design competition and scholarship opportunity for second year students. The scholarship was created in honor of the late Bud Persons, who was a Senior Interior Architect with Helix. The fund is intended to recognize the life and work of Bud Persons by promoting the study and knowledge of architecture and design through a scholarship grant awarded to students attending UMKC. In celebration, Helix joins the students and faculty, along with their families and friends, for a reception and award ceremony.

This year, the assignment was to design a community art center, located at Manheim & Troost in Kansas City, MO. The program required that the community center include classrooms, private studios, administrative offices, and support spaces, as well as a retail art gallery and outdoor work area. The program also challenged students to think beyond designing a space that was both pleasing and functional. Students were required to think about the context of their design as it relates to its impact in the surrounding community – much like architecture, design, and urban planning in the real world. We are excited to announce the recipients of this year’s scholarship:

First Place: Olivia Ashbrook
Second Place: Lauren Silvers
Honorable Mention: Sam Green


Congratulations to all the students for their hard work!

To read more about the winning projects, check out UMKC’s blog post about this year’s Bud Prize.
(Award Recipients pictured above from left to right: Olivia Ashbrook, Sam Green, Lauren Silvers)


8 October, 2015 | Helix People

Helix Principal, Kristine Sutherlin Elected President of the Kansas City Architectural Foundation

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Congratulations to Helix principal, Kristine Sutherlin on being elected president of the Kansas City Architectural Foundation (KCAF) board. The organization has a tremendous impact on the Kansas City design community by granting scholarships to architectural students from the metropolitan area and hosting outreach events that educate citizens on the power of architecture to transform lives and improve the places where we live, learn, work, and play. Kristine has been involved with the organization since 2013 and recently finished a term as the organization’s vice president.

Since it was founded in 1984, KCAF has awarded more than 140 scholarships totaling over $250,000 to students from the Kansas City area. Over the next year the organization will be kicking off a capital campaign to increase the number and amount of student scholarships they provide.

Why is KCAF such an important organization for our community? We asked President Sutherlin herself.

“As college costs continue to escalate it is critical that we expand our reach within the design community. We want to make pursuing a career in architecture accessible for anyone that has a passion for this industry. Our scholarships have assisted some extraordinarily talented students and there is so much more that we can do as an industry to help support and train the next generation.”

Keep up the good work Kristine and thank you for helping to support young designers. We couldn’t be more proud to have you as one of the fearless leaders of our Helix family!


25 September, 2015 | Helix People, Recognition

Katie’s “Magic” ARE Formula

CROWLEY Katie

Our licensed architects are multiplying here at Helix and we can barely keep up with sharing the news! We are excited to announce that another one of team members, Katie Crowley, is officially a licensed architect. What does that mean? It means that Katie passed the grueling seven-part Architectural Registration Exam (ARE), logged all the necessary Intern Development Program (IDP) hours, and can now officially call herself an architect.

Did we mention Katie is only four years out of school? She graduated from the University of Kansas is 2011 before joining Helix in 2013. Over the last year she has been working on the adaptive reuse of the 301 E. Armour building into multi-family residential apartments and the renovation of the James C. Olson Performing Arts Theater for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and UMKC. She was also recently selected for AIA Kansas City’s 2015-2016 class of the Pillars Leadership Program. She’s a bit of a dynamo.

We asked Katie to share her secret to success and what’s next.

Q: Any weird study habits?
A:  Flashcards + Coffee = The Magic Formula.  I became a regular at many coffee shops! By the end of it I started to get a lot of looks and comments from other regulars. They were all thinking, “Really you’re studying for another one!”

Q: While taking the exams, did you find that you have a favorite subject matter?
A: Surprisingly, I got really interested in learning about contract documents and the project management side of architecture.

Q: Any favorite pump up music or playlists?
A: I think I had a different Spotify playlist for every exam.  The playlists had a mix of every genre of song you could think of (variety was the key to keeping me awake during many late nights).  But, when things got really tough I could always rely on a good old school 90’s playlist!

Q: What do you plan on doing with all your extra free time now that you aren’t studying for your exams?
A: I love to train and run half marathons so I hope to find time to do more races.  Running a race through Napa is top of my list 🙂

Q: Any words of encouragement for other architects who are currently studying for and/or taking their AREs?
A:  Just keep going!  All of the tests seem really overwhelming and are a lot of work, but it is totally worth it.

There you have it! 90’s music, flash cards, and the promise of a half marathon through Napa. Congratulations, Katie! We are so proud.

 


23 September, 2015 | Helix People

What if we’re meant for each other?

Helix is looking for an interior designer. As a designer at Helix you’ll be assisting on all phases of workplace, higher education, hospitality and historic renovation/preservation projects. Interested in joining our people? We’d love to hear from you. Read more about the position on our careers page and send us your resume at resume@helixkc.com for immediate consideration.


28 August, 2015 | Helix People

Centurions Class of 2017

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce recently announced the Centurions Class of 2017 including Helix principal, Alissa Wehmueller. Anyone that has met Alissa through her involvement in IIDA, Kansas City Design Week, the Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet or her many other community activities know firsthand the passion she has for Kansas City.

Where does her love of this fine city come from? We asked Alissa.

You’re not from KC originally – what has kept you here?
Marrying a handsome KC native! Honestly, when I moved here I didn’t necessarily know if it was a long-term decision. But the growth and changes that have happened in this community in the last decade have been remarkable to see and be a part of. Kansas City is a great size – this balance between the amenities of a large city and the values of a small town. I believe your happiness in a place depends on what you put into it.

Who is a KC leader you admire?
Mayor Sly James! He’s brought an approachability and energy to City Hall that’s really special. I’ve seen him crash a table of designers at happy hour and have a quiet breakfast with friends at Union Station early in the morning – he’s present. I find myself bragging about how cool our mayor is to people outside Kansas City (not cool – frosty!) This has to be a fun time to be leading Kansas City, I’m sure it’s very hard work but I hope he’s enjoying it.

Why did you want to join the Centurions program?  
As my husband and I deepen our roots here, through our home, our careers and our family, I want this city to thrive and I feel a responsibility to contribute. I feel really lucky to be part of an industry that literally gets to build our community – create buildings and spaces for the people working, learning and playing here. I want to be educated and informed about the city, our needs, challenges and goals. I’m looking to Centurions to learn the best way to get engaged with organizations in a valuable way – I don’t want to fill a seat on a board to keep a chair warm, I want to help.

What do you hope to gain from the program?
Centurions has been tagged a ‘Master’s degree in Kansas City’, I like thinking of it that way. Everyone I know that has participated in the program has been very honest – it’s a big time commitment and a lot of work – but they’ve also said it’s one of the most rewarding things they’ve done personally and professionally.

Any advice for fellow transplants to KC?
Be present in the city – attend new events, get out to Kauffman, wake up early and get to the farmer’s market, wander around the plaza, get to know your neighbors. Bloom where you’re planted.

From all of us at Helix, congratulations and cheers, Alissa!

 


9 June, 2015 | Helix People, Recognition

Cale the Architect

Helix is proud to announce our newest licensed Architect: Cale Sadowski. Cale joined Helix in 2011 after a four-year stint in New York City where, as a junior architect with Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture, he worked on projects ranging from black box theatres to a 1,800-seat proscenium theatre.

Becoming a licensed Architect requires passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE), which is a series of seven different exams totaling a grueling 33 hours. Since beginning his exams, Cale and his wife Ashley (also an architect) bought their first home and had their first child. If that’s not impressive enough, Cale also graduated from the AIA Kansas City’s 2014 Pillars Leadership Program.

We thought we would take this opportunity, while Cale is still in test mode, to give him a quiz of our own.

Q: What type of swag do you get now that you’re an architect?
A: I’ve jokingly considered getting my stamp tattooed on my palm, but I’ll probably settle for framing my license once it comes in the mail.

Q: When studying for your exams, did you have any favorite pump-up music or playlists?
A: Coffee and Sigur Ros (Icelandic Band with really atmospheric and ethereal sound, mostly instrumental). It was the perfect music for calm and focus without lulling you to sleep.

Q: Did you learn anything interesting about yourself while studying and taking the exams? A favorite subject matter?
A: Site Design. It’s inspired a lot of ideas about landscaping for my yard.

Q: Now that you’re finished with your exams, how do you plan on celebrating?
A: I’ll celebrate when my wife passes her last test, but the plan is to have a cookout and invite everybody we know.

Q: Anything else you want us (the world) to know?
A: Becoming an Architect is a LOT of hard work, but it’s a privilege to practice.

If you studied up on our recent personality trait post you also know that Cale is an INTP, otherwise known as the “quintessential architect”: inventive, creative, intellectual, and the most logically precise of all other personality types.  We couldn’t agree more.

From the Helix family – Congratulations, Cale!



18 February, 2015 | Helix People

A Toast to Twenty-Three

Throughout the years, one thing has always been important to us: people.  In the spirit of celebrating our people, we decided to have some fun by asking our employees to post pictures of themselves 23 years ago. While this year’s anniversary holds no particular significance, something felt right about celebrating. Perhaps it was the frigid, February weather, or our newly defined unique personality traits. Regardless, we had a great time looking back at where our people were when Helix began and raising a glass to the years ahead.


6 February, 2015 | Helix People

Rising to the Top

Last year was hard to beat!  Two major commissions came Helix’s way, the new Conservatory of Music and Dance building for the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a new Health Education building for the University of Kansas Medical Center. This year, the excitement continues with the announcement of two promotions, Bryan Gross to Shareholder and Alissa Wehmueller to Principal.

As Director of Interior Design, Alissa Wehmueller, IIDA, LEED AP oversees Helix’s award-winning interiors team.  Alissa’s experience with several high-profile corporate clients has led to her passion for creating a happier American culture through workplace design. She inspires groups seeking transformational change and brings a proven track record delivering workplace environments as innovative, playful, and fast-paced as the companies themselves. An expert in workplace trends, Alissa participated on an International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Round Table on the subject in Chicago, and serves on their chapter board.

Recently, Helix awarded Alissa the impossible challenge of leading the charge on our own workplace refresh.   We felt anyone who could convince the entire office to pour ice water over their heads (for the ALS Challenge) was the right person for the job.  Alissa enthusiastically embraced the opportunity as a chance to “practice what she preaches” and came out with flying colors.

An Iowa State University graduate, Alissa has made Kansas City her home, spending weekends restoring a historic home with her husband in Liberty.

Senior architectural designer, Bryan Gross, AIA, LEED AP leads Helix’s quality assurance efforts with regards to design.  Joining Helix as a Principal in 2004, Bryan is known for his steady leadership and constant pursuit of excellence.  He has led over two million square feet of Helix’s most prominent and complex projects including, most recently, the Health Education Building at KU Medical Center.  His talents have gained national recognition, most notably in Architect and Architectural Record magazines.

When not creating his next masterpiece, you will find Bryan mentoring any one of the firm’s architects.  He is Helix’s Rock of Gibraltar when it comes to detailing award-winning building designs.  But on weekends or after work you might see him racing through the streets either on foot or bicycle.  An avid runner and cyclist, Bryan is frequently running in marathons and biking to and from work.

Bryan is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the Architectural Association in London. A father of two, one of his children recently joined the profession as an intern architect in Toronto.


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