A local architecture firm has left its mark on the Kansas University School of Architecture and Urban Design and, according to a professional organization for architects, passed the assignment with flying colors.
The Lawrence firm of Gould Evans Architects, P.A., received the two top awards for design excellence at the Kansas Society of Architects annual meeting last month in Topeka. One of the honor awards was for design work on the renovation of KU's Marvin Hall, which houses the School of Architecture and Urban Design.
The firm, headquartered at 706 Mass. with another office in Kansas City, Mo., also shared an honor award with C.W. Fentress & Associates, Denver, for the restoration and adaptive reuse of the Navarre building in Denver.
Only four awards were given at the meeting and the two honor awards to the local firm were the most prestigious, said Trudy Aron, executive director of the society.
THE WINNING firms were chosen from 34 entries and were selected by a St. Louis-based jury of two architects and a professor in the Washington University School of Architecture.
Of the Marvin Hall renovation design, the jury wrote: "The building has been carefully reconfigured for use as the University of Kansas' School of Architecture. The variety of spaces produces a lively interior with a clear articulation of functions and organization. The jury was impressed with the space utilization and restrained details."
David Evans, a principal with Gould Evans, said the awards are shared with the owners of the buildings and recognized their commitment to renovate older buildings.
"We appreciate someone saying it was a job well done," Evans said. "Everyone appreciates being told that, especially when it's from your peers."
BEFORE Marvin Hall was renovated, it was the oldest unrenovated building on campus, dating back to the early 1900s, Evans said. Since they were working for the KU School of Architecture, Evans said the job was "both exciting and scary."
He said the firm first wanted to "do a real good job renovating an historic building and also creating space in an environment that is educational to students in the school of architecture."
The 24,000-square-foot Navarre building in Denver was renovated as a museum. Of that project, the jury wrote: "This architect really did his homework and has interpreted original details and a skillful articulation of space in a sensitive way. The jury felt this building demonstrated the highest level of architectural skill."
Evans said the Navarre building in Denver is in the heart of the central business district and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
THE ARCHITECTS worked closely with the Colorado State Historical Society, and used original photographs of the building in recreating small additions to the building and in carefully reconstructing the cupola and porches.
Evans said the project was more of restoration, and took a tremendous amount of study in order to be able to recreate the building as it was originally designed.
SPSH Architects Inc., Wichita, received a merit award for the design of Palace Cinema in Wichita, and Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey & Associates of Wichita received a merit award for the restoration of Union Station in Wichita, which now houses Multimedia Cablevision Inc.
The Kansas Society of Architects is a not-for-profit association serving the needs of architects and the public they serve, according to a press release from the society.