Two BNIM Projects Receive National Critical Acclaim

Kansas City, Mo. – January 14, 2013 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has recognized two of BNIM’s projects as 2013 recipients of the AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture, the profession’s highest recognition of works that exemplify excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design. The Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity located in the former Union Station Power House in Kansas City, Mo. and BNIM Iowa, the firm’s studio in Des Moines, Ia. were among the 9 projects selected to receive awards for Interior Architecture. Winners will be recognized at the 64th Annual Honors & Awards Celebration at the 2013 AIA National Convention on June 20-22 in Denver, Co.

Describing the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, the jury notes: “This project was commended for both the interior architecture and for the precedent it sets for the reuse of the country's industrial building stock. The design was also commended for the way it inserts an entirely new and different function into the space, clearly defining the new and the old while equally celebrating the character of the original industrial building.”

Project Description
Relocating the Kansas City Ballet (KCB) involved preservation and adaptive reuse of the 52,000sf historic Power House at Kansas City’s Union Station, a former coal-burning plant completed in 1914. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, the building sat abandoned from the 1970s until 2006. To transform the Power House, the team turned generator rooms into dance studios, coal bunkers into dressing rooms, and fire pits into useable space, while adhering to The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Today, the Bolender Center serves as a home for KCB, a community events venue, and a strong hub for performing arts in the Midwest.

Describing BNIM Iowa, the jury notes: “This project has the mark of a mature designer, willing to reduce the existing space to its barest essentials. The connection to the street is celebrated, using its activity to enliven the interior, where the details are conceptually aligned to the language of the architecture. A simple and clear diagram executed beautifully.”

Project Description
Located within a former bank lobby on the southeast corner of an active street intersection, this open studio engages the urban core and fosters collaboration. The space uses the minimal insertion of partial height elements to harvest daylight and define programmatic functions. Spatial organization follows the preexisting window module, reinforcing the interior diagram and engaging the public at street level. The studio is organized around a central wall clad in a continuous rhythm of cork panels for critiques, spontaneous collaboration and display, which creates an edge to the studio environment and defines an open conference area and kitchen/library/workspace. The studio has brought life to the street level and helped foster a rejuvenation of the urban core.

In response to the recognition, BNIM Director of Design Steve McDowell, FAIA said, "This national design recognition represents a relentless commitment to discovery and design excellence within our firm. We bring a rigorous pursuit of excellence to each project and client by seeking the best in our collaborators and in ourselves."

For project images, jury comments and additional credit information, see the AIA website.

The jury for the 2013 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture included: Andrew Wells, FAIA (Chair), Dake Wells Architecture, Springfield, Missouri; Susan H. Jones, FAIA, Atelierjones, LLC, Seattle; Carlos M. Martinez, AIA, Gensler, Chicago; Ronald J. McCoy, FAIA, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; and Catherine M. Truman, AIA, Ann Beha Architects, Boston.