By Kevin Collison
Nothing like a great place to sample beer and buy Boulevard swag to win a popularity contest with local architects.
The new Boulevard Beer Hall, formally known as the Boulevard Tours & Recreation Center, received the Professional’s Choice honor at the recent 2017 Design Excellence Awards Program held by the Kansas City chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
The Boulevard facility, which opened in July 2016, was one three downtown Kansas City projects to be recognized by the AIA Kansas City.
The $2.3 million redevelopment of the former Skelly Oil Building at 2534 Madison Ave. was designed for Boulevard by Helix Architecture + Design.
“Helix Architecture + Design transformed a 1920’s-era warehouse into a destination for tours, tastings and experiencing Boulevard Brewing Company’s culture,” according to the citation.
“The design embraces the building’s industrial roots while showcasing Boulevard’s unwavering commitment to authenticity, sustainability and craftsmanship.”
While the other award winners were decided by a panel of three judges, the Professional’s Choice honor was a more democratic affair.
The 1,150 members of the AIA Kansas City picked seven candidates for the honor and the final choice was made at the awards banquet via texted votes by members attending the event.
Jeff Krum, president of Boulevard, said his firm’s new facility, which he anticipates will host 200,000 people this year, may have had some help in persuading the local architects.
“We probably had an unfair advantage since we serve beer,” he said. “That helps get people interested and excited.
“We’re grateful, not only by this formal recognition, but for the response by locals and visitors. It’s proven to be popular beyond our wildest dreams.”
The AIA judges panel awarded BNIM with a Citation Award in the Interior Architecture category for its new headquarters space at 2460 Pershing Rd. in Crown Center.
BNIM originally had wanted to build a stand-alone facility in the Crossroads Arts District, but abandoned that plan because of criticism over the proposed use of tax incentives.
“In its renewed form, the Pershing Road building complex is an innovative workplace environment that showcases a culture of curiosity by leveraging its original assets and drawing inspiration from biophilia,” the judges said of the new BNIM space.
The other downtown project honored was the 1914 Main apartment project, which received a Citation in the Large Architecture category.
The $8 million development was designed by KEM Studio for Linden Street Partners of Denver, which cited the new streetcar route as prompting the 44-unit project.
“A modern interpretation of the warehouse typology, 1914 Main lies in the heart of Kansas City’s most creative district. Supporting a mobile lifestyle, the city itself becomes the amenity package by utlizing public transportation such as the streetcar and some of KC’s best restaurants, bars, galleries and local shops,” the citation stated.
The other projects recognized by the AIA Kansas City can be found here.