The Guild…Rush Wade/2 Studios

Just east of McGee Street in the East Crossroads District of Downtown Kansas City, MO, there’s a rich sub-culture of artists, craftsman and design professionals that have formed a consortium of sorts; banding together to support a budding design oriented community.  At the forefront of this movement Rush Wade/2 Studios commissioned crossroads native and designer/fabricator Dale Frommelt of Egg Designs and Pendulum Studio to collaborate on the adaptive reuse of a very unique 12,000 square foot  building located at 16th and Locust.  The building consists of a 6,000 square foot barrel vault brick structure adjacent to an additional 6,000 square foot prefabricated metal structure with multiple slab elevations.  The intended new use for the buildings will include an event space (“The Guild”), photography shooting floor, and office/studio space for Rush Wade/2.  In addition to the existing building renovation, Pendulum, and Egg have started collaborating on plans to develop three adjacent lots across the alley on Cherry Street also owned by Rush Wade/2 that will be an “off-grid” outdoor green space and beer garden (“The Guild Gardens”).

Early Composite Sketch - North Building
Early Section Concept - North Building

Rebirth of Cool…No Need To Build New

In response to questions about why they didn’t build a new building, Co-Owner Lindsey Rush stated: “There’s something really cool about an older building that has outlived its original purpose.  There is a level of craftsmanship, detail and scale in old buildings that unfortunately is very rare these days, partly due to cost of materials, but also because current building codes make it almost impossible to replicate.  The simple elegance of the bow-string trusses in our south building would be four times as large if we designed them from scratch today.”

While the vintage exterior facade and interior structure contribute to the overall character of the buildings, the material palette chosen by the Ownership group and design team that consists of reclaimed lumber, white subway tile, and exposed steel columns and beams creates an undeniable contrast between old and new.  The angular geometries of the new interior program continues the contrasting dialogue and reflects the creative and forward thinking style of the Owners; simple, clean, and down to earth with an edge.

Construction is currently underway and set to be complete by October of this year.  The images below document our progress with demolition – we’ll add more images as construction continues.

Green Bay Bullfrogs on the boards…literally

My Design Process

The first thing my oldest son asks me when I get home is: “what did you do at work today – did you have fun?”  With exception to the days that I spend in meetings or on the road my typical answer is: “I sketched most of the day…yep it was a good day”.

Just over a year ago we were cranking away on the Green Bay Bullfrogs’ new stadium and something inspired me to start taking video of our design process for just about everything I do.  Needless to say, I’ve got hours of video – this one being the first of a series that features me on the boards with my favorite triangle and circle template.

Based on the wardrobe changes in the video this was a three-day sketch.  Although I pushed the speed to 8x in editing, we spent quite a bit of time thinking about how best to tie into existing site context (Fox River & downtown to the east, arts district to the west), blur the site boundary lines (outfield boardwalk & playground), and maximize revenue generating potential (everything inside the secure line).