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City of Kansas City, Mo.

CONTACT: Mary Charles, city communications officer, (816) 513-1356


City construction projects win architectural awards

Four capital construction projects in the City of Kansas City, Mo., have been honored recently with awards by the architectural community.

Three projects were honored by the Kansas City branch of the American Institute for Architecture’s 2009 Design Excellence and Allied Arts and Craftsmanship Awards. The City’s Capital Improvements Management Office managed all of the award-winning projects on behalf of the City.

"As a long time city employee, I know that we have some of the most qualified and talented professionals in their fields working for the residents of Kansas City," said Mayor Mark Funkhouser. "I am always pleased when outside agencies such as the American Institute for Architecture recognize this as well."

Receiving a 2009 Art Honor Award from the organization, “Pedestrian Strands,” is a permanent art installation on the four bridges over I-670 that connect downtown to the Crossroads neighborhood. The bridges are located on Grand Boulevard and Walnut, Main and Baltimore streets. The project is a collaboration with artist James Woodfill and el dorardo architects. Glass panels printed with abstracted photographs of surrounding architecture are mounted on a metal support frame and are lit at night by integral strips of LEDs. As pedestrians walk across each bridge, the muffling quality of the glass, alternating with the open spaces between each panel, transforms the traffic noise from the highway below into a pattern of sounds. Layered fine-weave chain-link fence serves as the backdrop, and the combination of car headlights, highway signage, and noise interacts with the glass panels to create a dramatic urban experience.

The new wayfinding sign system in the City’s George E. Wolf Garage at 11th and Oak streets received a 2009 Art Merit Award. Since opening in 2003, patrons of the garage across from City Hall were not utilizing the previous wayfinding signage and had difficulty locating their cars upon returning to the garage. In collaboration with a graphic designer from Willoughby Design Group, el dorado architects developed a wayfinding system where each level can be identified through the use of “face and name” recognition. The signage design was the result of careful research and analysis that included studies in human perception, pattern recognition and mnemonics. The diversity of individuals featured in the system reflects Kansas City’s diverse population.

The City’s new Vehicle Impound Facility received a 2009 Design Excellence Merit Award. The facility, located at 7750 E. Front St., covers 25 acres, includes space for 2,000 cars, and incorporates several energy-efficient buildings that use less than half the amount of energy required of comparable buildings. The Vehicle Impound Facility, designed by el dorado architects, also was recently certified a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold rating for sustainability from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The functional, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly facility creates a pleasant atmosphere for both employees and customers. Features include well-daylit, industrial-grade exterior and interior spaces; stormwater treatment; sustainable, water-efficient landscaping; and the use of recycled materials. In addition, the contractor, Barto Construction, reduced the amount of construction waste that would normally end up in a landfill by 75 percent.

Tthe Design-Build Institute of America’s Midwest Branch has recognized Fire Station 19, 550 W. 43rd St., as one of nine exceptional design-build projects in the region. The state-of-the-art facility, which replaced an aging battalion fire station in Westport, incorporates the important elements of fire station design including: quickness of response, functional relationships with corresponding components, reduction of maintenance, durability of materials and privacy of its users. The two-story fire station, by the design-build team of SFS Architecture and JE Dunn Construction, keeps firefighters in close proximity to the apparatus bays at all times. The fire station is one of several design-build projects that have been undertaken in recent years by the City.

Media inquiries about these awards should be directed to Sean Demory, communications manager for the Capital Improvements Management Office, (816) 513-0059.

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