Helix Designers and Client Garner AIA Kansas City Board Awards

On December 9, the AIA Kansas City chapter held its annual holiday party — virtually — commemorating significant achievements by its members and the Kansas City community during an unpredictable year.

We are thrilled that two Helix staff members and one of our recent clients were honored during the annual event. Their achievements represent the very best in visual communication, advocacy for architecture, and notable contributions to the profession.

Young Architect’s Forum, Monsters of Design: Diagramming – Travis Snell

Monsters of Design has been a staple event for AIA Kansas City in years past, with this year’s event being no exception. The Monsters of Design – Diagramming competition showcased and celebrated design graphics and visual communication that are integral to the design process. This year’s panel of judges was a mix of architects, graphic designers, and others with relevant areas of focus.

Out of nearly 70 entries, Helix designer Travis Snell won third place with his series of diagrams that explains the facade concept for a potential apartment building located directly adjacent to the railyard of Kansas City’s Union Station.

The facade is first organized by a rigid linear grid akin to parallel train tracks. Then superimposed on that grid is a more irregular, undulating pattern similar to the ephemeral, moving railcars of a train.

Travis is our in-house visualization specialist, taking the lead on creating compelling imagery and engaging graphics for projects, internal communications, award submissions, and other efforts. He shares his knowledge with our staff through frequent training sessions and helps set the standards for our renderings.

President’s Award for Advocacy of Architecture – Kansas City Art Institute

AIA Kansas City Chapter President Ryan Warman chose to bestow the President’s Award to the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) for their dedication to great design and partnering with local design talent. As Ryan noted, “It is exciting when a higher education institution, particularly a design school that is highly regarded, sets forth an ambitious plan for campus improvements.”
“We honor the Kansas City Art Institute as advocates of architects and architecture, and as they demonstrate the value of collaborating with design professionals in our community to enhance the experience for their students, their faculty, and staff.”

Helix is honored to be one of the firms privileged to work with the Kansas City Art Institute. KCAI’s aspirational vision and steady leadership was evident during the development of the Barbara A. Marshall Residence Hall, which culminated in an AIA Kansas City Project of the Year award.

Emerging Professional Award – Ellen Hailey, AIA

The Emerging Professional Award recognizes a young architect who has shown exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the profession at such an early stage in their career. Helix project architect Ellen Hailey, AIA was given the award for her dedication to advancing the profession through client service and community outreach. Nominated by the entire leadership team at Helix, Ellen embodies all of the qualities at our firm and in the community.

“Ellen Hailey is a model of how professionals in our chapter are leading and strengthening our profession for the future.”

Ellen is an experienced project architect whose belief that good design should be accessible to any budget has informed her experience on workplace, hospitality, and community-based projects. She has immersed herself in Kansas City through the AIA KC Pillars Leadership Program, multiple volunteer commitments, and growing involvement with the Kansas City chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). In the face of obstacles imposed by COVID-19, Ellen devised the Helix Architecture Scavenger Hunt to engage the Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri and instill a curiosity for architecture.

The recognition from AIA Kansas City is a testament to the value of our partnerships with extraordinary leaders and collaborators. Through the vision of our clients and the talents of our team, we are proud to contribute positively to our community.