Artwork Integrates Community into KCPD Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

How do you translate traditional quilt-work into a building facade? Collaborating with renowned fabric artist Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin was one of the most rewarding aspects of our work at the KCPD Leon Mercer Jordan Campus, home of the East Patrol and Regional Crime Lab.

As part of KC’s long-standing One Percent for Art Program, and the larger goal of creating a police station where the neighboring community felt welcome, the Helix team collaborated with Sonie to design and install an architectural interpretation of her African American quilt-work. From here, Community Dignity and iNeema were created.

Community Dignity represents the connection between the police and the neighboring community, measuring 30-feet by 16.5-feet. While iNeema, meaning Grace in Swahili, offers a message of inner peace, measuring at 42-feet by 11-feet.

Once the final designs were selected, our design team began translating Sonié’s concepts in architectural terms, in this case glazed brick. Our team then developed construction documents, which were later used by masons to build each quilt pattern. These brick and mortar quilts are prominently displayed at the entrances of both the police station and crime lab, connecting the police to the community they serve each day.

Completed project photography by Aaron Dougherty.