Adjacent to two historic Kansas City neighborhoods and flanked by the city’s most prominent art museums, the Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall on the Kansas City Art Institute campus was designed to interface equally with the campus community, neighboring residents and nearby cultural institutions. Inspired by the neighborhood’s use of curved brick and stone walls, the impressive brick structure features a clean, flowing shape punctuated by crisp edges and creative brick masonry for texture and dramatic effect.
To achieve this design, the architects collaborated with clay product company Endicott for the brick facade. Although the brick, stone and other natural elements blend seamlessly with its transitional setting, the building makes a bold visionary statement that is consistent with the mission and aesthetic of the campus.
The aesthetic goal was to impact every student at the college and elevate the profile of KCAI’s academic programs by designing an environmentally friendly, visually stunning facility, while maintaining design continuity with the neighboring community. The dark, rich Endicott manganese ironspot brick exterior takes its cues from the tones, textures, shapes and materials used in adjacent sites.
The integration of Endicott's curved bricks into the design combines a feeling of spontaneous creativity with precision and strength. Consistent with the art historians who are enshrined within the building’s main portal, the high sheen iron ore additives in the brick work to mirror and interpret the beauty around them, appearing to change with the angle of the sun and the color of the sky.
Envisioned as a place that will redefine the student experience, Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall is the hub for liberal arts and art history classes, and is one of the few buildings on campus that every student will visit during their time at KCAI.
Endicott brick is the ideal solution for a project such as this that must combine bold artistic expression with hardworking functionality. Known for its superior hardness along with aesthetic quality, the selected brick was formed of rich Nebraska clay, and then fired using a special burn in a closely monitored process to draw out the deep black color.
|Location ||Kansas City, MO |
|Architect ||Hufft, Kansas City |
|Products Used ||Manganese ironspot brick |
|Brick Manufacturer ||Endicott Clay Products, Fairbury, Nebraska |
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