Home » Helix Architecture + Design, JE Dunn Construction Break Ground on KCAI Student Residence Hall and Dining Center
Helix Architecture + Design, JE Dunn Construction Break Ground on KCAI Student Residence Hall and Dining Center
August 1, 2018
KANSAS CITY, MO — Helix Architecture + Design and general contractor JE Dunn Construction broke ground this morning on a new student residence hall and dining center for the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI). Located along Warwick Boulevard south of the campus gates, the building will house a 244-bed residence hall, the Wylie Dining Center and the Nerman Café. The residence hall went from wish list to reality following a $10 million lead gift by an anonymous donor, given through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation last year.
Helix Designers DougStockman and AlissaWehmueller, along with ChristopherCarvell of Denver, Colorado, said they designed the new building to look beyond traditional student housing models and nurture the creativity and well-being of art students. The building features double-occupancy semi-suites with private baths and gathering spaces, plus a student gallery, large living room and gaming center.
"The contemporary student coming to KCAI to study deserves the best possible living space, and the residence hall will be exactly what the students and their parents want — a home that is comfortable, relaxing and safe, with high connectivity. After a day of working in the studio, they can return to a supportive community and a place they can make their own," said The Nerman Family President Tony Jones.
The residence hall is paired with the Wylie Dining Center and the Nerman Café. The dining facilities will serve a wide range of menu options and healthy alternatives and will be open to all.
The designers want to create a new gateway to campus that responds to the surrounding historic context while conveying the forward thinking vision of KCAI. An infusion of transparent public spaces along Warwick Boulevard aims to create connectivity between the student experience within and the broader arts community that surrounds it.
The warm, gradient of colors along Warwick Boulevard were selected to energize and activate the streetscape and reflect the changing seasons. Within the courtyard, the color gradient includes cool, calming hues of blue.
The interior environment is designed not only to provide a welcoming home but also to be source of inspiration for freshman students. Elements of the mediums they will be studying are interwoven throughout the design and the designers have carved out places where students can use the building as a canvas to showcase their own work.