"Wow, Why Didn’t I Think of That?"

While KWA stays deep in the trenches of building state-of-the-art multifamily housing projects, our employees still find time to stop and smell a rose … or maybe some sawdust … and appreciate some pretty genius craftsmanship.

Below is KWA’s premier “Wow, Why Didn’t I Think of That?” lista selection of unique buildings, chosen by KWA employees, that meet the following criteria: 1) Innovative; 2) Inspirational and 3) Makes you say, “Wow, why didn’t I think of that?”. For this premier list, KWA focused its attention on brilliant architectural design, finding the following structures worth great praise:

South Asian Human Right Documentation Centre

Here’s one way to bring in some “natural light.” New Delhi-based firm Anagram Architects cleverly configured bricks to meet design needs for the SAHRDC in New Delhi, India. The SAHRDC desired a workplace that was energy efficient and functional, yet was situated on a tight 50-square-meter plot on a street corner with a lot of pedestrian traffic. To address the intrusive acoustical and visual surroundings, as well as gain direct solar energy, Anagram Architects manipulated bricks that help drown out noise and let in natural light.  KWA gives major props to this incredible, inspirational and environmentally responsible, Q*Bert-esque design.

Source: Design Boom

Kansas City Downtown Public Library Garage

It’s hardback … it’s paperback … no, it’s aluminum! When Kansas City got a new downtown library, architects at Dimensional Interventions (DI) collaborated with JE Dunn, CDFM2, Jonathon Kemper and MC Lioness to finish out the library’s design with a one-of-a-kind decorated parking structure. Using aluminum with enormous format graphics, DI and partners coated the outside of the parking garage with ground-to-rooftop bookbindings. This SEGD- and IDEA-award winning structure was built with a fixed budget and required intense collaboration. KWA loves this unique parking garage for the iconic feature it adds to Kansas City’s downtown, as well as for the appreciation of a successful collaborative design-build project.

Source: Dimin

Starbucks Now Served in a Cargo Container

Talk about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! This one-of-a-kind drive-thru/walk-up Starbucks in Tukwila, Wash. serves coffee straight out of cargo containers. The establishment is constructed from four modified shipping containers, including one 20-foot container and three 40-foot containers. While Starbucks is not the first to convert cargo into retail, this particular group of de-mobilized trailers wins our top spot for “innovative scrap solutions.”

Source: Inman News  | Photos: Tom Ackerman, Starbucks

Boxel Pavilion

Some college students find beer to be a great educational tool … or rather the crates used to transport the beer. When a group of architecture students at the University of Applied Sciences in Detmold, Germany, were charged with designing and realizing a summer pavilion, student Henri Schweynoch found that beer crates were the perfect construction material to build a unique gathering place for concerts, presentations and social events. Schweynoch used software in his digital design course to accurately plan for a free-form geometric structure using 2,000 beer crates. Adding a concrete layer to the four base beer crates, as well as securing all crates with a system of slats and screws, brought his unique vision to life. KWA loves this Boxel Pavilion for its visionary design and use of a very untraditional (although somewhat “college traditional”) construction material. KWA sends “cheers” to Schweynoch.

Source: Archiable 

Bubble Building

Who knew “living in a bubble” could be a reality … even if only for a few minutes? And by bubble, we’re not talking a plastic circular object or a building constructed and painted to look like a bubble. We’re talking about the liquid bubbles you blow that can make kids go bananas. The Bubble Building, located in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, is the world’s most delicate and temporary building, made entirely of  a soap bubble. It consists of 16 hexagonal shaped ponds, where visitors can stand and work together to pull up steel frames to create a bubbled enclosure … and then wait for it to pop. KWA loves this building not only because it brings out the kid in everyone, but also because it’s significance says so much. DUS Architects created the Bubble Building as a monumental representation of the eternal cycle of building and rebuilding. And the pop represents the economic crisis and its effects on real estate and architecture. The Bubble Building is also intended to promote collective building, as it takes at least two people to erect one cell of the pavilion. The more people involved, the larger bubble can become.

Source: Dusarchitects.com