Bud Prize Jury

Date: December 8, 2016
Time: 1:30pm - 5:20pm

Katz Hall, Room 101

Join us for a review of work by the second-year architectural students, as part of a competition sponsored by Helix Architects. All are welcome, stay for as little or as long as you like!

Shaping Cities: A Lecture by John Ruble

Date: September 14, 2016
Time: 6:30pm

Plaza Library, Truman Auditorium

As co-founder and partner in the Santa Monica, California-based architectural firm Moore, Ruble, Yudell, John Ruble has collaborated on a broad spectrum of residential, academic, cultural, and urban design work in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Included in that acclaimed portfolio: the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and comprehensive master plan for the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Ruble examines urban design issues now confronting Kansas City and other metropolitan areas in the latest Kivett/Seligson Lecture sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design. Ruble also discusses his work, and that of his firm, and its emphasis on creating meaningful, memorable, and sustainable places.

Please RSVP here.

Samuel Valenzuela / Architecture


Samuel Valenzuela Is A Veteran Who Wants To Build For Veterans

Why architecture?

I grew up with family members who were in construction and landscaping. I’d watch them, and was always curious about their solution. I played with Lego bricks, I drew and made things. I liked putting things together.

What excites you?

New projects and the design process. I dream about building things and think about all of the details.

Who do you admire most at UMKC?

(Associate Teaching Professor) John Eck. I attended a summer architecture class in high school in 2008, which he taught. It made me come back after serving in the military.

What motto do you live by?

Semper Fi. Always faithful. I served in the Marines. I lived and traveled in Japan and Europe. I met interesting people,

How has the architecture program inspired you?

I want to design for veterans who require assistance.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

That in order to influence a whole group, it’s important to talk to different programs around campus.

Are you a first-generation college student?

Yes, it means that I have to try ever harder to set an example for my younger siblings.

What are your lifelong goals?

To start a firm.

What is one word that best describes you?

Curious. Curiosity has made me take paths in life that most people would not have.


BUD Prize 2015

From left: Olivia Ashbrook, Sam Green, Lauren Silvers

Future architects learn design and responsibility

What does it take to stimulate an appetite for discovery in an urban environment, establish a space to both create and appreciate art, and build a connection among a park, a school, a church and a residential neighborhood?

It takes an architect with an understanding of urban design. And that is the underlying lesson for the second-year students in the Architectural Studies program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Students in Architectural Design Studio I, taught by faculty members John Eck and Ted Seligson in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, spent much of the semester working on an assignment to design a community art center for the Hyde Park/Manheim Park neighborhood.

A specific site was chosen – the northwest corner of Troost Avenue and Mannheim Road – and students were required to consider the immediate neighborhood’s context: a mix of residential space, parkland, and major buildings such as St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and DeLaSalle Education Center.

“Although the program asks you to provide a pleasing and functional space for a number of art-related activities, your responsibility does not stop there,” the assignment’s creative brief reads. “Your art center has the potential to physically bring the community together—through art shows, classes and other events. When you design the art center, your client is not only the art center—it is also, and perhaps even more importantly, the community.”

The building was required to include an outdoor entry court, entry vestibule, gallery, six artist studios, a wood/metal shop, print shop, outdoor work space and an apartment and studio for a visiting artist.

In addition to learning their future profession, the students also competed for the annual Bud Prize, a $1,000 scholarship established in 2004 with Helix / Architecture + Design to honor Edwin S. “Bud” Persons, who was a Senior Interior Architect with Helix.

First Prize in the competition went to Olivia Ashbrook. Her design called for a steel structure with white metal paneling on inside spaces for a pure, sleek appearance; a central gallery uses glass paneling to allow natural light.

In an accompanying essay, Ashbrook wrote “The gallery became the central focus of this design, or the hierarchy space … located in the center of the building, with the rest of the spaces wrapped around it.”

The gallery can be glimpsed, but not seen fully from the street, she added, so it “becomes something to be discovered, drawing people in off the street.” The design called for a structure built to a residential scale but “the aesthetic is meant to declare a commercial presence.” Exterior louvers are covered by art to shade the studios and act as signage for the center.

Lauren Silvers earned second prize for her design, a square structure with a central courtyard that serves as the heart of the art center, illuminated by a screened skylight, with secondary spaces grouped around it.

Sam Green earned Honorable Mention. Other participating students in the studio included George Aguilar, Elana Carter, Landon Cook, Jadenn Kelley, JD Meyers, Alex Overbay, Dennis Tong, Sam Valenzuela and Charlie Vue.

Jurors for the competition were Joy Swallow, Architect and AUP+D Department Chair; Shannon Jaax, Planner/ Director of the Repurposing Initiative for Kansas City Public Schools; Alissa Wehmueller, Director of Interiors at Helix / Architecture + Design; Jennifer Tuttle, Artist and Artist’s Mentor; and Christopher Fein, Architect and Professor of Architecture at Kansas State University.

(Story via John Martellaro, UMKC Communications)

It’s that time of year… Final reviews! You’re invited.

Our students have been busy all semester….

Please swing by Katz Hall in the next few days and see our students in action during final reviews and presentations…

Pavilion Project – first year studio
9 December / Katz Hall, 101, 107

Valentine Neighborhood / Site alternatives for
Urban Planning and Design I
2:30 pm
Katz Hall 101

Dallas Architecture Field Trip 2015


Every spring, the second-year architecture studio at UMKC joins up with their future Kansas State University classmates and roadtrips to Dallas, Texas. In addition to being just an all-around good time, lessons are learned and some great architecture is seen. Among the highlights: the Modern Art Museum by Tadao Ando (pictured above), the Winspear Opera House by Norman Foster, the Wyle Theater by Rem Koolhaus/REX, the Kimball Art Museum by Louis Kahn, the Nasher Sculpture Center by Renzo Piano, the Perot Science Center by Morphosis, the Dallas Symphony Center by I.M. Pei, the Cistercian Abby Chapel by Gary Cunningham . . . and much, much more!


2015 Architecture Internships

Students in their fourth year of study at Kansas State University can choose to either study abroad or go on an internship. Five of our UMKC alums choose internship this year, and were hired at great firms around the county (and world). Here’s a list:

Joel Savage: HDR Architects in Denver, Colorad0

Frederik Heuser: Beat Kampfen in Zurich, Switzerland

Brendan Tucker: Studio MODH in Brooklyn, New York

Nathan Mattenlee: HTK Architects in Overland Park, Kansas

Jack LaFontaine: Ann Beha Architects in Boston, Massachusetts

Congratulations to them all!

Architecture Jobs!

A common question from prospective students (and parents!) is “How likely is it that I’ll find a job after graduation?”

Always a good question, but given our recent economic slump–it’s especially relevant! The good news is that new construction continues to climb, which means plenty of work. Read the AIA’s forecast here.

Want more good news? During economic slumps, construction slows down. It happens, it’s cyclical. But during those down cycles, enrollment at schools of architecture schools often slows down, too–resulting in fewer new architects entering the job market at graduation time. Plus: older architects are still retiring nevertheless, right? So that means that after down cycles, when offices are busy–there is often a shortage of architects to fill new jobs. Meaning: a great job market for architects often follows slow times.

Are all of those stories too non-specific to our situation here at UMKC/KSU for you? Here’s some specifics: Out of the 136 graduates of the 2013-2014 graduating class from the KSU College of Architecture, Planning & Design, 93% (126) are employed, 3% (4) are enrolled in graduate/professional school or further education, 3% (4) are seeking employment and 1% (2) are occupied in other non-career activities.

Want to hear more about it? Come visit us. Difficult economies affect all fields, and will always come and go. They are weatherable. The world will always build, and it will always need architects to do that. If being an architect what you dream of doing, we can show you how to make it happen.