The new season has ushered in big changes at a budding local architectural firm.
But amidst the chaos at ACI Boland Architects, the change has been all for the better, especially for employees.
After 11 years, the 50-person firm left behind its South Kansas City office for the blooming Crossroads Arts District, in hopes that a spacious new office would help the firm tap into the creative energy of the surrounding neighborhood. In the decision to relocate closer to the urban core, the firm's leaders considered its opportunities for growth, the convenience of the location, the improvement on culture. Most importantly, it satisfied the firm's need to attract and retain a younger generation of workers.
“Our team is engaged in creative work every day, helping guide clients through their architectural journeys,” ACI Boland Principal Vic Mosby said. “We realized we needed to apply equal attention to our own journey. A space like this helps attract and retain talent, and continuously inspires our team’s creativity and innovation.”
The design studio space occupies 13,000 square feet of a former film row building at 1706 -1710 Wyandotte. The concept for the office space was led by the firm’s own Director of Interior Architecture Mara Sabatini, who designed specifically to the open-air layout andabundance of natural daylight within the space. A large conference space equipped with the latest technology and a lounge area with a modern kitchen are also among the perks of the new space.
Among the greatest attractions of the building is the scenic roof-top deck with views of downtown Kansas City, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Bartle Hall and the Liberty Memorial.
“The most exciting aspect of moving is the impact that is has on our creative process," said John Dudek, Project Manager and Associate for the firm. "The design of the office is an extension of our location in the Crossroads. Differing sizes of rooms, corners and spaces mimic the city streets and alleys in a way that drives and pushes our collective creativity in new ways that are being discovered everyday as our office and city unfolds in front of us."
ACI has hosted several events in the space already, including an open house last week that attracted over 250 guests. The employees can also utilize the new, hip space for personal events such as birthday parties and wedding rehearsal dinners.
The firm, whose markets include commercial, healthcare, senior living, education, and the public sector, has seen over 30 percent staff growth during the past 10 months, including the addition of Doug Loveland, recently named as a new Partner/Principal of the firm. Loveland, who will oversee the education division, joins four existing principals.