Hufft 'small box' concept pops onto big-market retail scene

Hufft is playing big with its ‘small box’ pop-up design, a concept that has allowed homegrown retailer Baldwin Denim to try major markets on for size without signing long-term leases. Over the past 12 months, the Kansas City-based architecture firm and fabricator’s store-in-a-box has helped Baldwin Denim expand to New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and San Jose, California.

Hufft founder Matthew Hufft and Baldwin Denim founder Matthew Baldwin are longtime friends, so Hufft was game when Baldwin asked him in 2017 to fast-track design for a pop-up store in New York City.

“It started with (Baldwin) saying, ‘hey, we need a popup store in a few months. How can we get that done on a budget?’” Matthew Hufft said. “We worked with them to develop a scalable model, basically a store that can ship to almost any location and be set up in days. Landlords are loving this model and offering better lease terms because of it.”

Packed inside one plywood box, the “pasture in the city” pop-up landed rave reviews from Interior Design magazine, with editors calling the mashup “one of the most innovative pop-ups” they’ve ever seen. Fabricated at Hufft’s Kansas City headquarters, the concept features design nods to Midwestern barns and landscapes.  

The entire store is shipped in three birch-plywood shipping crates comprised of two nesting “prairie tables.” When separated, the rustic tables feature edges that resemble Kansas hillsides. The theme continues with a dressing room shaped like a grain silo flat-packed for easy assembly without fasteners.  

“We are helping create (Baldwin’s) brand experience, and looking at the retail industry overall we understand we have to do it differently,” Hufft said.

Additional Baldwin Denim stores in Denver and Austin are expected by the end of the year. Check out the slideshow provided by Hufft below. Click on the photo to advance the gallery. 

Teamwork and expertise prove good medicine for SMMC project timeline

Shawnee Mission Medical Center has opened the city’s largest hybrid operating room, a fast-tracked project that converted an outdated clinical area into a 3,550-square foot surgical space equipped with the latest advanced imaging equipment and technology.

Built by general contractor United Excel and designed by health care architecture firm Pulse Design Group, the new multidisciplinary operating room allows health care professionals from different specialties to treat patients undergoing minimally-invasive heart and vascular surgeries in the same location. Procedures will include Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements (TAVR), electrophysiology, vascular procedures and cardiac catheterization.

Most of the construction took place after normal business hours to meet an expedited project timeline and to minimize disruptions to patients and ongoing operations. It was a challenge that United Excel was prepared to meet.

“It’s so different from building a big box store or standalone construction because there are birthing mothers and even NICU patients right next to us.” said United Excel Project Manager Lucy Campbell. “Adjacent areas remained active during hospital hours and during off hours. If someone was admitted for an emergency surgery, we had to stop what we were doing but still maintain the construction schedule.”

United Excel built a shell around the construction space to limit harmful fumes, dust, vibration and noise. Once the hybrid OR was completed and equipment installed within the shell, crews performed a thorough terminal cleaning to ensure the space was 100 percent sterile.

“We built a whole room around the space in which we were going to be working, so you are building twice, basically,” said United Excel President Dennis Burns. “Those in health care construction understand how important infection control is. If you don’t do health care construction, then you may not be aware of how important that piece is.”

Architectural details included a flexible floor plan that was developed and vetted by nurses and physicians with the aid of virtual reality, custom solid surface casework provided by Shield, and an elevated control desk for optimal patient viewing. The advanced room design allows for a patient to transition from an interventional catheter-based procedure to a surgical procedure without being transported to another setting.

“Our firm has designed hybrid operating rooms for numerous clients, but the new hybrid operating room at Shawnee Mission Medical Center is by far the most spacious and technologically advanced. It sets the highest standards for future hybrid operating rooms,” said Pulse Design Group Principal Rick Embers.

Greg Highbarger, SMH design and construction manager, agreed that the complexities of the hybrid operating room project-- including a September-to-January timeline-- provided challenges.

“...the synergy of our design and construction partners defused any concerns that our project would not be completed on time and under budget,” Highbarger said in a release. “The success of our new state-of-the-art hybrid operating room is a testament to having the right expertise at each phase of the project.”

The project team included: Professional Engineering Consultants (PEC), P1 Group, Capital Electric, Allied Construction Services, Shield Casework, and Jayhawk Fire Sprinkler Co. Medical equipment was provided by Steris, Phillips, Biosense Webster, GE, Drager, Siemens, & Sorin.

 United Excel built an actual infection control barrier during construction of Shawnee Mission Medical Center's Hybrid OR. The wall blends visually into the adjacent hallway.

United Excel built an actual infection control barrier during construction of Shawnee Mission Medical Center's Hybrid OR. The wall blends visually into the adjacent hallway.

'Resmercial,' blurred lines between office and home dominate Big KC Office Trend discussion

Office efficiencies and the blending of boundaries between home and work were among trends tackled by panelists at MetroWire Media's Big KC Office Trends event on March 29 at WeWork.

Check out a snapshot of talking points from the panel discussion led by JE Dunn Vice President Jon Dandurand

"Efficiency is the game now. When you have a market that is really tight like this one is, you have rents increasing. Companies are always looking for ways to keep their costs down, so I would say they are getting a lot more efficient. It used to be an average of 200-250 square feet per person, and we are now seeing 150-200 square feet per person, and I see that trend continuing as companies get a lot smarter with their space going forward." -Rollie Fors, Colliers

"Creating a living room and a more residential feeling in the office environment is completely on trend and where things are going. That living room-style space really supports workers and their activities. Sometimes those common spaces are almost an afterthought. We spend so much time thinking about the workspace and then get to the end and think, 'let's throw a sofa and couple chairs in there' ... If we start planning those common spaces and shared amenities first, then you can really create dynamic spaces." -Stacey Roth, Scott Rice

"Engagement is one of the biggest topics we discuss with clients these days. It's interesting how space really can affect positively or negatively the connection you have with people on your team and clients. So what we find is the more we can create spaces within your place and give people the choice and control of how they work and when they work then we find the engagement level can be improved." -Trevor Hoiland, Burns & McDonnell

"The demographics are not changing how we work. The difference is coming from technology. that it is proliferating the hours We work from 5 am when we wake up to midnight when we go to bed, and It means our office space is becoming more like home and our home is becoming more like office space. It's creating a different type of product." -Aaron Schlagel, Ryan Companies

"Workspace efficiency has really changed the way companies look for space. From a development landowner perspective, we try to build amenities like rooftop patios into all of our projects as well as plenty of unique spaces outside the usual tenant footprint, so for example employees can enjoy getting away from their offices with shared conference rooms versus dedicated conference rooms." -Vince Bryant, 3D Development

Check out an event slideshow below. Photos by ArchPhotoKC.

B&B Theatres celebrates opening of 'Old Hollywood'-inspired New Longview 7

B&B Theatres debuted its new seven-screen boutique theater in New Longview in March, the chain’s first metro-area ground-up project in six years.

Check out a time-lapse of B&B’s New Longview 7 Theatre nine-month construction project

New Longview 7’s Grand Screen is the first theater in the world to feature a dive lighting system with individual lights corresponding with each speaker, offering moviegoers an immersive, “rock-the-seats experience,” according to Brock Bagby, B&B Theatres executive vice president.

“Those lights can be changed and can do whatever we want them to. We can have every single one a different color, so let’s say we are watching Finding Dory, then we can change the entire room to look like an ocean. This is the very first theater in the world to have this, right here in Lee’s Summit, Missouri,” Bagby said.

The Grand Screen is six stories wide and four stories tall, making it one of the largest screens in the nation coupled with DTS immersive surround sound.

“You’ve got the biggest industry subs behind the screen, so it’s gonna shake your chairs. It’s an amazing experience,” Bagby told attendees at the theater's Opening Gala on March 21. 

Guests are greeted by an Art Deco-themed lounge and bar area complete with a 35-foot long bar, clusters of comfy chairs, outdoor seating area, and fireplace nook with sofas. Developer Russell Pearson with Box Real Estate Development said designers drew inspiration from Art Deco projects around the country, a theme that plays out with starburst designs incorporated into the flooring and custom lighting fixtures.

“The B&B design motif is very much ‘Old Hollywood,’ and the Art Deco period we focused on is very specific between 1930 and 1935,” Pearson said. “It just so happened that the architect that designed Longview Farms, Henry Hoit, went on to design a number of Art Deco projects in Kansas City from which we drew inspiration.”

The opening of the 28,000-square foot complex comes just two months after B&B completed a multi-million dollar upgrade of Lee’s Summit 16 on Northeast Douglas Street. The project included extensive remodeling, the addition of a new MX4D concept and screenPLAY, an auditorium dedicated to families and young children that includes a playground.

Check out a slideshow from B&B Theatres' Opening Gala below; click on the photo to advance.

Hunt Midwest senior housing expands into Florida, Tennessee

Hunt Midwest is extending its senior housing reach outside the Kansas City region, announcing plans to build an 84-unit assisted living and memory care community in Royal Palm BeachFlorida.

The 76,200-square foot Capstone at Royal Palm will offer residents resort-style living in a secure environment, with Mediterranean architecture and amenities such as fitness center, bistro lounge, sunroom, walking trails, gazebo and dog park.

"To continue our growth in the senior housing space, Hunt Midwest began looking at dynamic markets in the southeast to develop first-class assisted living and memory care communities," said Ora Reynolds, president and CEO of Hunt Midwest. "About that time, the Village of Royal Palm Beach recognized a desire to provide its senior population with assisted living and memory care services in quality projects or risk losing their residents to neighboring communities. The timing was ideal for us to meet that need, which led to our purchase of this highly desirable infill site..."

In addition to the Royal Palm project, Hunt Midwest has signed contracts to purchase land in the fast-growing Nashville, Tenn. suburbs of Mt. Juliet and Gallatin, with plans to develop two additional Capstone communities in that market.

Hunt Midwest has aligned with nationally recognized operating partner Integral Senior Living for the Capstone at Royal Palm. Construction will begin this fall with an opening expected in late 2019.