Kansas City Overhaul - Design Bureau

Hughes Residence

Woodruff Sweitzer

Kansas City Overhaul

Friday, September 9th, 2011

El Dorado Inc., as told through an enormously entertaining history-of-human-existence-style biography, was founded in 1996 in Kansas City, Missouri. Now in its 15th year, the firm's ascent has been steady, and its architectural impact on its hometown readily apparent. According to El Dorado, the neighborhood in which its office is located, The Crossroads, "is not heaven: it’s loud and gritty and it’s hard to park there sometimes, but...we love it there and can’t imagine ourselves anywhere else." It might not be heaven now, but with projects like the two below, El Dorado seems to be taking its own name literally, injecting Kansas City with architectural gold.

Hughes Residence
Kansas City, MO

David Hughes, director of the Charlotte Street Foundation, asked El Dorado to customize his condo in the historic Union Carbide building to accomodate his expansive art collection. Befitting of David’s role as a local cultural leader, the project grew out of creative collaboration with the arts and design community of Kansas City. Derek Porter Studio developed ambient lighting strategies in response to the abundance of diffuse north sunlight in the condo. Anne Lindberg created a site-specific installation at the entry vestibule, and James Woodfill designed and fabricated a pendant lighting system for the dining room. Finally, El Dorado designed and fabricated various custom components for the condo, including a steel fireplace system, a dining table, and a built-in desk.

Woodruff Sweitzer
Kansas City, MO

Woodruff Sweitzer, an innovative brand-development company in the Crossroads. Based on client feedback, "Eldo" created an offset circulation spine, with private offices to the east and open offices to the west. Full-size and “Tokyo-size” conference rooms are pushed to the south of the space, adjacent to a kitchen area. The space was a bit challenging: very skinny and very long. To avoid a “landlocked” feel, the firm tried to inject as much natural light into it as possible, maximizing the glazing to the north and south while maintaining a visual connection between the two.

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