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K-State Today

November 18, 2016



APDesign faculty, students recognized at American Institute of Architects Kansas/Central States Regional annual conference

By Brianna Sprague

Several projects by faculty and students in K-State's College of Architecture, Planning & Design, or APDesign, received 2016 Design Excellence Awards from the American Institute of Architects Kansas at the AIA Kansas/Central States Region annual "Infrastructure" conference Oct. 19-21 in Manhattan. 

The AIA Kansas Design Excellence Awards recognize outstanding architecture in the state of Kansas and celebrate the work of central states architects who have enhanced the infrastructure regionally and nationally. The awards are divided into two groups: AIA Central States Regional and AIA Kansas. Work was awarded Honor, Citation or Merit. 

David Dowell, APDesign studio consultant and principal architect for el dorado inc., received AIA Kansas honors for his work on the Illinois Creek Ranch. Located on a historic farmstead in Alma in Wabaunsee County, the ranch was designed for a family of five, their extended family, friends and guests. The goal of the project was to forge an emotional bond between people and unique landscape. Structures were purposefully straightforward in their vernacular appearance with a focus on innovative, nuanced detailing and contemporary material selection.

Dowell also was recognized with a Merit Award for Excellence in Preservation/Adaptive Reuse for work on the Volland Store. After sitting empty for 30 years, the century-old Kratzer Brothers Mercantile building in Volland was purchased and renovated into an art gallery and community event space with a small loft apartment on the second level serving as an artist's retreat. The design solution was simple, relying on clean forms and honoring the integrity of original materials and context of the surrounding tallgrass prairie. 

K-State's Design+Make Studio was recognized with a Citation for Excellence in Student Architecture for its work on Preston Outdoor Education Station. The project consists of a sequence of experiential educational stations along a trail that begins with a 300-linear-foot dry stacked limestone wall at YMCA's Camp Wood in the Flint Hills. Built from locally-sourced materials to focus on essential elements of the prairie — insects, wind, stone, grass and sky — the stations collectively begin to articulate the story of the tallgrass prairie for camp visitors. Students awarded include Torrence Campbell, Tamra Collins, Luke Custer, AJ Henry, Brent Higgins, Daniel Johnson, Phil Macaluso, Alias Martinez, Kelsey Middlekamp, Briana Reece, Jake Rose, Sevrin Scarcelli and Blake Toews. Consultants and mentors were Dowell and Mathew Knox, professor and department head for APDesign.

Kelly Pyle, architecture student, received the AIA Kansas Citation for the project "A Pediatric Hospice House." The project is envisioned as a camp focusing on children's experiences of rich and fulfilling lives until death. The building, appearing as a group of "cabins" in the forest, is intended to accentuate the sensory elements of nature. Materials, details, interior and exterior settings and the quality of daylight act to engage patients and visitors with the architecture, working together to create a rich, healing experience in support of this difficult time of life. Consultant and mentor was Susanne Siepl-Coates, professor of architecture. 

The Design Excellence Awards were developed to encourage and recognize excellence in architecture, to elevate public awareness and to recognize the architects, consultants, contractors and owners whose efforts enhance the built environment.

The awards ceremony was sponsored by Action Pact Design and JE Dunn Construction.