The Barney Building

Large Office Winner

Project: The Barney Building | Mission Woods KS

Firm: RMTA | Kansas City MO

Design Statement

Attracted to the mid-century character of this 1968 commercial office building and it’s prime location in town, longtime client Karbank Real Estate wanted to transform the space from a Class C to a Class A office, re-using the existing structure and incorporating sustainability practices to achieve LEED Gold certification. The design team was charged with maintaining the mid-century character while completely renovating and modernizing the 32,000 square foot building. Utilizing existing geometry of the building, the design team focused on balance and a seamless transition between original structure and a fourth floor addition. On the exterior, load-bearing masonry façades were replaced with a curtain wall system, existing window openings were widened and the entry was re-designed. Design intent for the project centered around layering materials, planes and forms throughout the building exterior and interior. Nickel-jointed Cyprus slats on the soffits extend from the exterior to interior in a visually seamless transition. Spatial planes throughout the fourth floor interior spaces rarely intersect or collide, terminating into reveals; ceiling and wall planes were constructed in sections, revealing exposed steel beams and other structural elements. As an industrial real estate developer whose family-owned business was founded by his father in the early 1950s, the majority of the client’s portfolio is composed of buildings with exposed steel. Accordingly, the RMTA design team subtly pays homage to the heritage of the client’s business while still creating a cohesive, refined mid-century modern office. The result is one of the most desirable commercial office spaces in town. Great design was defined in this project through an unrelenting focus on quality. The design team created a space that honored the existing architectural structure while updating and modernizing the building to meet our clients’ needs and provided this small city within Greater Kansas City a beautifully renovated office building that will endure for the next 50 years. LEED Gold certification was awarded in February 2015.

The main design objectives of the interior spaces at The Barney Building revolve around layers, spatial planes and form. Complementing the clean, industrial aesthetic of the building materials exposed throughout the 4th floor office while adding warmth to contribute to the mid-century modern feel was the primary consideration while choosing floor finish. The linear split pattern of the Shaw Contract Group broadloom used matches the layers in the design and reinforces the simplicity of the architecture. The geometric cuts in the carpet design match the slit windows and steel beams seen throughout the office, and help give a sense of depth and additional architectural richness to the space. The fringe/shadow carpet tile used in corridor common areas played a different role, making a less bold design statement and providing an elegant and serene sense of entry for tenants and clients, while still supporting the overall architecture of the building with linear repetition. The physicality of the carpet tile in these higher traffic common areas is ideal for the client, where pieces can be changed out as needed.

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