Building The Arts

Kansas City Architecture: The Best of 2012.

Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)
Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), photo courtesy James Steinkamp.

We had the pleasure of leading the planning effort for the 2012 AIA Kansas City Design Excellence Awards, held last November at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Design Awards is the signature event for our AIA chapter, and we always eagerly anticipate the projects that epitomize the talent, creativity, and vision of our local architecture community. Firms submitted 70 projects from three continents, four countries, nine states and 34 cities—an impressive reach of work!

The event itself draws architects, project clients, civic leaders, and other fans of good design. The setting of the Nelson-Atkins attracted a lively audience to hear the Design Awards jury, who joined us from Des Moines, New York and Portland, describe the exceptional work and reveal the top prize of the evening, the Honor Award. Two projects rose above the rest to receive this award, given to projects that exemplify excellence of architectural design on all levels, and demonstrate the highest standards to which architects aspire.

BNIM received the Honor Award for its transformation of a vacant power house and coal burning plant into the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity home of the Kansas City Ballet. POPULOUS took home its Honor Award for the 2012 London Olympic Stadium.

The jury recognized nine other projects that evening with Merit and Citation awards. Local projects receiving awards included: Camp Prairie Schooner, Rockhurst Parking Garage, Town of Kansas Bridge Entry, Troost Bridge and the Boulevard Brewing Company Cellar 1 Expansion.

For the first time ever, AIA Kansas City invited the community to select its favorite project. Individuals were asked to vote online for the People’s Choice Award from 30 eligible projects located in our metro area. The tight competition came down to the last day, and with more than 3,000 votes tallied, the victor was the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). The CAPS school provides a profession-based education to junior and senior level students in the Blue Valley School District. They focus on areas of bioscience, business, engineering and human services.

Other top vote-getters were LIVESTRONG Sporting Park, The Roasterie Factory Renovation & Expansion, Aubry Bend Middle School, and Windmoor Center. See the award-winning projects at www.aiakc.org/awards/

–Jon Knight, AIA and Brian Ball, AIA

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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