Browsing New Construction

Historic Farmhouse Transformed into Children’s Center for Synergy Services

What began with the donation of a nearly 100-year-old farmhouse on a wooded six-acre site by Judge Stephen Pratt is now a safe, welcoming space that allows Synergy Services to double the number of children they serve.

Synergy Services is a Kansas City non-profit that helps victims of family violence find the safety, support, strength and skills needed to change their lives. They were forced to turn away 300 children from their SafeHaven women’s shelter last year due to lack of space. The donation from Judge Pratt allowed Synergy to create a dedicated space for children that feels warm, welcoming and avoids the institutional feel that most temporary foster facilities have.

The nearly 100-year-old farmhouse was repurposed to house counseling rooms, a therapeutic art room and a living room space and a 7,500 sq. ft. addition includes a dining room, bathrooms, bedrooms and a large open multi-purpose playroom with adjacent playground. The design of the addition builds off the wooded site to create an environment that is reminiscent of a camp or cabin. An abundance of natural light and views to the surrounding woods were integrated to draw the outdoor environment into the interior. Natural pine wood was used inside and out to further this concept and add a warmth to the overall space. 

In addition to creating an environment where children feel at home in a safe, healing place, the design team also wanted to make sure that the children felt at ease that this was a place they could play and enjoy. Details, such as the Charlie Harper wallpaper filled with animals in the dining room and durable walls and floors made of reclaimed wood from a gym floor in the playroom clearly communicate that this is a special place designed especially for them. Vibrant color was used playfully in key spaces but sparingly in others to allow the building to be a canvas for the children and their own art and personality.

The new building has been an overwhelming success for Synergy; executive director Dennis Meier shared, “Everybody that comes here just falls in love with it.”

As a non-profit, Synergy Services had a limited budget that the design team was conscious of in developing the overall concept and selection of low-maintenance materials, finishes and systems that would reduce operational costs long-term. Helix worked closely with JE Dunn Construction to deliver a building that is as efficient and functional as it is beautiful.

Helix principal Erika Moody has worked with Synergy Services for over 10 years. After working with them on the design of Synergy Services Youth Resiliency Center she was so inspired by the work they do that she joined their board. “Synergy is the last lifeline for so many in our community,” said Erika Moody. “The trauma that many of these children have experienced is unimaginable. I am proud to help them create a space that supports their mission and enables them to positively impact even more kids.”

The project has already been honored with numerous awards, including a Capstone Award from the Kansas City Business Journal in the Community Impact category and a silver award at the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Mid America Design Awards.

Photography by Michael Robinson.


Kansas City Police Department Builds Community Through New Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

The Leon Mercer Jordan Campus, located at the corner of 27th and Prospect, serves as so much more than the East Patrol Division Station for Kansas City Police Department and the new Regional Crime Lab. The new campus, completed in spring 2016, is already having an impact for neighboring citizens by integrating spaces that foster relationships between KCPD and residents.

Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

The campus represents an unprecedented investment in the Third District of Kansas City, Missouri, which since it’s opening has encouraged further development in the neighborhood and made a difference in the lives of many. The East Patrol Division Station houses a large community room, computer access lab and gymnasium specifically designed for public use – the vision of Police Chief Darryl Forté.

“It’s not just a police station. It’s a place where people can gather — where they can do homework, play a game of basketball or have a neighborhood meeting in a safe and supportive environment.” Chief Forté told the Kansas City Star.

For one youth basketball team, that meant a dream come true. The team of 8th graders were able to move from an outdated half-court practice space into a brand new facility (not to mention a full-court all to themselves!) The community room is already being used in so many ways, most recently book club meetings and a veteran breakfast.

Gymnasium at Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

East Patrol Art in ArchitectureLeft: Sculpture by Des Moines, IA artist David Dahlquist features pottery thrown by local youths. Volunteers from the Kansas City Art Institute and the KC Clay Guild assisted the teens in creating the large thrown bowls. Right: “Community Dignity” glazed brick art installation by Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin.

The design also incorporated several art pieces, two of which are located at the entrances of both the East Patrol Division Station and the Crime Lab facilities. The installations are architectural interpretations of artwork created by local artist Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin. The pieces, called Community Dignity (shown above right) and iNeema (located on the Crime Lab building), are inspired by American and African culture. Helix worked with Mrs. Ruffin to incorporate her art into the detailing of two glazed masonry feature walls, creating a visual of “quilts” on the front porches of these two campus buildings.

The large stand-alone piece outside the main public entrance of East Patrol Division Station is a result of Kansas City’s One Percent for Art program; artist David Dahlquist involved local youths and neighbors in its creation (shown above left).

“It’s asking the community to be invested in it,” artist David Dahlquist said in a press release put out by ArtsTech – a nonprofit organization dedicated to bettering young people through arts and technical education. “The piece is about something peaceful, contemplative.”

20160425-dougherty-076-eastpatrol-sAbove: Large community room features a wooden wall made from trees harvested on the site of the building; the opposite wall displays a timeline highlighting the history of African-American police officers. The exhibit was designed by Dimensional Innovations.

Above: The public computer room is open to local schoolchildren, families and community members without internet access or computers at home. The lab features artwork by ArtsTech’s Aaron Sutton. Above: The public computer room is open to local schoolchildren, families and community members without internet access or computers at home. The lab features artwork by ArtsTech’s Aaron Sutton.

The new campus is anticipated to be a redevelopment catalyst for the Prospect Avenue Corridor and its surrounding neighborhoods. City Architect Eric Bosch said this unprecedented investment in the Third District of Kansas City and this neighborhood has already been reflected positively in other recent projects in the community area.

“The city is already working on a new grocery store just seven or eight blocks away, which the neighborhood never really had before,” Bosch stated in a post on KCPD’s SaferKC blog. “They’re also putting in an express bus line going right in front of the station, which will allow more connectivity to other public transportation throughout the city. The church next door to us is also expanding through the development of a community center, and it’s the timing of our facility that made that happen.”

KCPD Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

Another key aspect of the project is the way it improves efficiency for everyone who will use the facility, including police officers, employees and the general public.

“The old station was too small and the layout did not allow for the most effective operation,” Major Sharon Laningham, Construction Division of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department said on SaferKC.com. “We learned from nearly 20 years of experience of how police stations work. The new station is more efficient, officers move through their routines quickly and get out on the street faster. 

The state-of-the-art Regional Crime Lab and the Property Evidence Depository were meticulously programmed to allow for a more efficient working environment for lab teams and other crime lab staff too. The new Crime Lab, a collaboration between Helix and Wellner Architects, is also better located to collect crime scene evidence and be in closer proximity to the Courts, saving time and money for the KCPD. 

KCPD Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

“By combining several critical capital improvement projects on one campus, we achieve economies of scale and use the Public Safety Sales Tax dollars in the most prudent way possible,” said former Colonel Jerry Gallagher of the Kansas City Police Department.

The project is considered a successful model for achieving and exceeding the city’s goals for minority business participation throughout the planning, design and construction process. Helix along with the City of Kansas City, Missouri and joint venture contractors JE Dunn and Alexander Mechanical, were proud to exceed the minority business enterprise (MBE) and women business enterprise (WBE) goals.

The project surpassed these goals, achieving to date:

  • MBE/WBE participation for professional service contracts = 40%
  • MBE/WBE participation for construction services = 30%
  • Section 3 participation for construction services = 16.6%
  • Overall MBE/WBE/Section 3 participation on the East Patrol Crime Lab = more than 52%
  • Overall Section 3 New Hires = 101

 

It’s clear to see the significance of this project by the amount of recognition it’s receiving – a KCBJ Capstone Award and an EDC Cornerstone Award.

All photography by Aaron Dougherty.


Celebrating Community at the Ribbon Cutting for the New KCPD Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

Earlier this week the City of Kansas City, Missouri and the Kansas City Police Department hosted a ribbon cutting for the new Leon Mercer Jordan Campus, which includes the East Patrol Division station and regional crime lab.  The event drew community leaders and hundreds of attendees from across the city to celebrate the success of the project and the positive impact it will have on the community.

SE view-final

Helix worked alongside a team of over twenty consultants, many of whom are certified MBE, WBE and Section 3 businesses,  to deliver a new state of the art Patrol Division and Crime Lab that will serve the city well into the future. Together the team succeeded in creating a model project that shows how collaboration and inclusion can work as a strategy for building a great city.

In addition to housing police functions, the East Patrol Station houses a community room, a computer room and a gymnasium that are open to the public. In an article in the Kansas City Star Police Chief Darryl Forte and Rev. John Modest Miles shared their enthusiasm for the value the facility brings to community members.

Police Chief Darryl Forte said, “It’s not just a police station. It’s a place where people can gather – where they can do homework, play a game of basketball or have a neighborhood meeting in a safe and supportive environment.”

Rev. John Modest Miles said, “It is one of the most blessed things that could happen to this community. I am convinced that it is going to spark the rebirth of the whole community.”

SW view-final

Thank you and congratulations to all of our design team members, the city, the police department and our construction team. We are incredibly honored to have the opportunity to work with all of you to deliver such an important project for Kansas City.

Detailed information on the project and its history can be found on the police department’s Safer KC website.


KCPD Renovation + Expansion

Helix_KCPDHQ_ExtDet_0219_LRHelix had the privilege of working with the Kansas City Police Department and City of Kansas City, Missouri on the recent renovation and expansion of their downtown Police Headquarters. The renovation was designed to re-position the facility for another 70-years of service to the community, and to do so while respecting the character of the historic structure.

Helix_KCPDHQ_11514 1_LR

An important goal of this project was to increase transparency and expand Police interaction with the community. This involved extensive changes to the first floor including a monumental public lobby, unobtrusive security, and the addition of a large community meeting space.

Helix_KCPDHQ_ExtDet_0264_LR

Beyond addressing space requirements, the Police Department wanted to create a welcoming first impression for visitors, and a facility suited for collaboration, efficiency, team-building, and celebration. Central to the design, too, was the need to communicate the Department’s rich history of community service. The new addition on the ground floor allows the public to engage in the Board of Police Commissioners meetings and serves as a venue for Police community outreach programming.

Helix_KCPDHQ_11446_LR

The renovation addresses many years of deferred maintenance and features energy saving and water conservation strategies. Increased indoor air quality, natural light, and accessible routes provide a modern workplace for the Police and equal access for the public.

The project scope also included repairing the core and shell of the building – including exterior masonry restoration, building envelope improvements, window and roof replacement, streetscape design and systems upgrades. The systems upgrades are housed in an addition to the north of the historic structure, which increased useable space within the historic structure.

Helix_KCPDHQ_11347_LR

The city’s commitment to LEED guided design decisions toward sustainable solutions. Anticipated to receive LEED Gold certification, sustainability features include: re-use of existing building materials, integration of efficient HVAC systems, low-flow plumbing fixtures, daylighting and efficient lighting, and a green roof.

Images by Micheal Robinson Photography

 

 


University of Kansas Medical Center celebrates ceremonial groundbreaking of Health Education Building

View From SouthWest

The University of Kansas Medical Center ceremonially broke ground Thursday on a $75 million Health Education Building designed by Helix Architecture + Design in association with CO Architects. Leaders from the University of Kansas and KU Medical Center were joined by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, philanthropic donors and other dignitaries for the ceremony.

Interior View

The 171,000-square-foot Health Education Building will serve as the primary teaching facility for the KU schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions and will include significant simulation space and flexible, state-of-the-art learning space to support interprofessional education and other new models of teaching.

“This facility will change the way we educate and train physicians, nurses and other health care workers for Kansas,” said Douglas A. Girod, M.D., executive vice chancellor of KU Medical Center. “It will allow us to accelerate our university’s move toward a modern health education curriculum that emphasizes small group, interdisciplinary problem-solving and advanced patient simulation technology.”

View From NorthWest

You can learn more about the project and follow construction progress on the project website: http://www.kumc.edu/kumc-leadership/health-education-building.html

 

 


Helix | HGA Team are Awarded UMKC Conservatory Project!

We are honored and excited to be selected with HGA to create a new home for the UMKC Downtown Conservatory of Music and Dance in the Kansas City Crossroads.  This is a monumental time for UMKC and the Kansas City community, and we are very eager to collaborate with all on this landmark project.  The design charrette process that took us to this point was intensive and many schemes for the building were explored, including the rendering shown at the right.

 

 

 

Open PhotoHelix welcomes UMKC to the KC Crossroads! Helix welcomes UMKC to the KC Crossroads!
Open PhotoPictured here is one of the options explored during the design charrette process. Pictured here is one of the options explored during the design charrette process.

1515 Walnut: Sustainable Urban Living

For the past 30 years, Helix co-founder Jay Tomlinson has made a tremendous impact on the revival of Downtown Kansas City. As an architect, Jay has salvaged, restored, renovated, and reconstructed over 50 buildings in the Downtown and Crossroads neighborhoods. Many of these structures exist as cultural icons within the cityscape. Community staples like the Mainstreet Theatre, the Midland Theatre, the College Basketball Experience, and Webster House, just to name a few, have helped to rejuvenate the urban core and attract visitors as well as locals to the area.

At 1515, Jay’s first personal development seeks to infuse the area with one crucial component, the people necessary to support and sustain the existing dynamic scene that is Downtown Kansas City. The redevelopment of the historic building will include two retail office unites on the first level, six urban lofts on the second level, a third story penthouse addition for him and his wife Leslie. The project will be net zero with all electrical needs being met by a solar array installed on the rooftop.

With all that he has put into Kansas City professionally, it’s only natural that he and his wife would continue support the growth of the urban core in their personal endeavors. Living in the heart of the city supports the cultural, economic and community development that continues to revitalize the area.

For more information on the project, please follow the links below:

KC Business Journal: Pia Abatement
KC Star: Housing Redevelopment Projects

Open PhotoJay and Leslie Tomlinson “Urban Pioneers” in front of 1515 Walnut. Jay and Leslie Tomlinson “Urban Pioneers” in front of 1515 Walnut.
Open PhotoRendering of the renovated residence. Rendering of the renovated residence.

6 December, 2012 | New Construction

Under Construction: Milburn Country Club, part III

Projects like the Milburn Country Club present a special challenge. On the projects where there are only a few owners, we are able to bring the client in every step of the way to see progress first hand. But for Milburn, where there are over one hundred invested party members, we had to do things a little differently.

Last weekend we had the second of the two scheduled walkthroughs of Milburn. The Helix design team hosted hourly tours from 10am to 4pm. During these tours we guided the country club members through the space, explaining design decisions and answering any questions along the way.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Scott, Intern Architect on the Helix design team said:

The main feedback I got was on the shaping of the spaces and the interest was drawn in particular to the clean detailing of the ceilings at this stage. The exterior of the building was well received and many comments with regards to a good scale and overall comfort level of the future inhabitants. […]  Other areas of excitement include our homage to their history through our use of building materials, specifically the charred wood (also known as Shu Sugi Ban) that sheathes the signature room as well as the careful consideration the design team put into the siting of the building. Most country clubhouses are set further back from the golf course. In this case, we altered the architecture of the golf course in order to push the building further in, and bring the course up around the project. This gives us magnificent opportunity to capture the beauty of the course from various interior spaces.

How the Shu Sugi Ban was made a few weeks ago:

 

More images of the tour:

 

It was such a nice day out that people were golfing – in shorts. In December.

Previous posts on Milburn here and here.


KCPD East Patrol Campus

The Kansas City Police Department East Patrol division is committed to having a positive influence on the community starting from the design of their new campus. The East Patrol Campus—comprised of a police station, a multi-purpose building, a crime lab, and a property and evidence repository—will be located on 27th and Prospect, right in the middle of where they currently receive the most calls for service.

Project officials have specifically sought out Section 3 businesses to work with and the project will provide employment and training opportunities for low income residents during the estimated 24 months of construction. The whole design and decision making process has been made accessible and transparent to the community through public meetings, the East Patrol website, and the bimonthly newsletter. These resources are a wonderful way to see how, where, and why your tax dollars are being spent. They also serve to showcase the design process at Helix and demonstrate how every design decision, from location to design partnership to material usage, is made consciously.


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