SFS Architecture


ULI KC Honors Excelsior Springs Community Center

The Urban Land Institute Kansas City recognized the Excelsior Springs Community Center as a Development of Distinction. The project was one of four local projects recognized by the institute for excellence in development. According to ULI Kansas City, awarded projects must demonstrate: a resourceful use of land; preservation or enhancement of environmental resources; entrepreneurship or creative development in team organization and management; demonstrated economic/financial success; innovative design and planning features; meeting a special societal or market need; creative solutions to unusual or difficult obstacles to development; and contribution to the quality of the community’s built environment. Located on a highly visible site donated by the local school district and shared with district facilities, the new 50,000 SF facility offers a variety of amenities for community members of all ages. To learn more…

Solar Eclipse 2017 - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Views Solar Eclipse

SFSers gathered to view the historic 2017 solar eclipse on August 21. From the rooftop of the On Broadway Event Space next door to our studio, SFSers watched in awe as the moon passed in front of the sun just outside the path of totality.

SFS Celebrates Retirement of Diana Pacheco - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Celebrates Retirement of DIana Pacheco

SFS recently celebrated the retirement of Diana Pacheco, our longstanding office manager. Partners Marsha Hoffman and Kerry Newman were joined by founding partners Mike Shaughnessy, Mike Fickel and Bill Scott in thanking Diana for her hard work, commitment and friendship. Diana joined SFS more than 20 years ago and has contributed immensely to the success of the firm over the years. As a highly valued member of the SFS team, she will be greatly missed. We wish Diana the very best in the years to come!

Rooftop Yoga - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Rooftop Yoga

Stefan Hoffman with Power Life Yoga led SFSers in a fun entry-level yoga class on a recent beautiful Spring day. With a stunning view of the Kansas City skyline as the backdrop, students were introduced to various yoga poses and the proper alignment for each. In addition, students learned about vinyasa flow, which is coordinating one’s movement with breath to flow from one yoga pose to another. The hour-long class was sponsored by the SFS Whole Body + Whole Wellness program - an initiative aimed at promoting healthy minds, bodies and spirits.

Excelsior Springs Community Center Wins Design Awards - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Excelsior Springs Community Center Wins IIDA MADA Awards

The Excelsior Springs Community Center received two top honors in the 2017 International Interior Design Association Mid America Design Awards program. The project took home the Gold Award in the Civic + Government category, and was honored with the Best of City Center | Kansas City Award. The IIDA MADA Awards is a biennial event that recognizes excellence in interior design - innovation, functionality and implementation of overall design intent and brand - within the Kansas City and Wichita city centers.  The design of the Excelsior Springs Community Center is a direct response to the client’s mandate to make the facility like no other around. With that clear design directive in mind, the building is meant to be a removal from typical aesthetics - clean, inviting, fun, and unique in character with an emphasis on nature and body. Materials were kept light in character and to a minimum. To emphasize a sense of identity, the use of super graphics were provided at select key areas in the center. Also, to hheighten the sense of wonder, color and its atypical approach take a front seat to the overall design initiative. These efforts, along with an abundance of natural light, a unique circulation system, and a dynamic sense of space exceed the client’s request and provide an environment that is surprising to all.

Tiny Vessel Competition - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Tiny Vessel Competition

In celebration of Earth Day 2017 and in conjunction with the firm’s Health + Wellness program, SFS hosted its first-ever TINY VESSEL design competition. Staff were provided a tiny air plant and charged to design a vessel for the plant no bigger than 4” wide x 6” long; there were no height, material or fabrication restrictions. Votes cast by the staff determined the winners. Plants in the workplace have been found to reduce stress; increase productivity; reduce sickness and absenteeism; enhance the beauty of the workspace; provide cleaner air to breathe; reduce noise; and increase creativity; among other benefits.

OU Library and Student Center Receives Design-Build Award - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


OU Library and Student Center Receives Design-Build Award

The new library and student center at Ottawa University received a 2016 Merit Award for excellence in design-build in the Institutional - School/University category from the Design-Build Institute of America/Mid-America Region. SFS partnered with Loyd Builders to design and construct the new $14 million, 50,000 SF building.  The facility was designed to serve as the new hub for the campus.  The submittal is included in this post for your review.

Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center Receives Design Award - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center Receives Design Award

The Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center recently received a Citation for Excellence in Unbuilt Architecture from the American Institute of Architects – Central States Region. The project involves the renovation and adaptive reuse of the iconic King Louie Building, a 1950s era entertainment center. Construction is underway, with the grand opening slated for May 2017.

SFS Architecture Shares Perspective on King Louie Building Renovation - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Architecture Shares Perspective on King Louie Building Renovation

It’s hard to imagine that a former bowling alley and ice skating rink will be the new home of The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center sometime in the first quarter of 2017. Vacated in 2009, the Johnson County Government purchased the building in 2011, later recruiting SFS Architecture to handle the renovation.

Using its signature collaborative approach in working with key stakeholders, principal Marsha Hoffman said her company was able to ensure that the design of the new space would enrich all the people, organizations and communities impacted by it including the city of Overland Park, the Overland Park Historical Society, Johnson County Museum and Johnson County Park & Recreation district.

The facility will be a reflection of the city’s heritage and support a stronger connection with the community especially for a new generation of residents. It will hold more than one million photographs and 18,000 3-D artifacts while providing additional space for even more exhibits.

Hoffman said her team feels a tremendous responsibility to design a facility that will stand the test of time and be economical to operate by using durable materials that enhance the beauty of the original iconic building while bringing it up to code.

The key is to refresh the King Louie building and bring it back to life while making renovations and improvements that must be completed before the grand opening. “It’s a balancing act between keeping the original design in place and retrofitting for modern needs,” said Hoffman.

She told KMBZ the project started with a building evaluation. Her team took a hard look at existing conditions to see what repairs or maintenance was needed. One critical factor they had to consider is the mechanical and electrical system. From there SFS was able to determine if structurally the needed modifications could be made.

“A lot of times with older buildings some aspects may be non-compliant with building codes or the Americans with Disabilities Act. We evaluate all of that and then assign a cost to getting it up to code.” This directly impacts energy costs for example. Sometimes during this phase of the project SFS will conclude that it’s going to be more cost effective to relocate to another building or demolish it and start from scratch.

It is even more challenging to project costs over a long project lifespan but SFS, having won awards for preservation of historic buildings, has a strong track record of doing so with a high level of accuracy.

To listen: KingLouieBuildingRenovation

Andrew Ellenberg, KMBZ Move Series | July 16, 2016

SFS Helps Communities Promote Healthy Lifestyles - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Kerry Newman Told KMBZ Communities Are Stepping Up Efforts to Promote Healthy Lifestyles

As a principal with SFS Architecture, Newman is seeing communities move quickly to facilitate and address needs beyond the scope of traditional public safety, roads and infrastructure. They are being asked to play a key role in the development of a wide range of fitness education as well as recreational and social programs for citizens.

Driving the demand is a higher level of expectations from individuals and families who want to see communities create wellness and recreation programs along with providing indoor and outdoor facilities where these programs can occur. Improved walkability in trails, safe biking, more open green space and usable park land are all on the agenda.

Newman said his firm is being asked to help transform many underutilized spaces so they can be made available for community recreation, parks, aquatics and wellness facilities. As architects and planners, SFS Architecture is in a unique position to shape communities as places for healthy living.

A major factor behind the trend is increased awareness about the benefits of healthy lifestyles. Rapidly increasing health care costs have made healthy living as a preventative measure a priority. Newman also pointed to the growing senior segment. They are staying active and healthy much longer than previous generations.

Also on the rise is sports. Leagues from youth and adult to instructional, recreational and highly competitive are driving the need for more sports fields and court facilities.

Another trend is large open field house facilities that meet a wide range of sports needs in flexible and creative ways such as indoor turf areas and various types of indoor court surfaces that can be configured in many different ways to play basketball, volleyball, tennis and soccer.

A favorite with active aging adults is pickleball. Using a paddle and plastic ball, it’s a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong and is played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net with a paddle and a plastic ball.

A plethora of evidence supports Newman’s assertion that communities experience significant economic development advantages when offering programs and facilities that meet these healthy lifestyle needs. They become places where businesses and residents want to be. That’s why we are seeing more partnerships between communities and healthcare providers and between governmental agencies and communities.

Instead of duplicating services that are already being provided by perhaps private providers, communities are being smart about how to best leverage their limited resources by piggybacking on existing assets. This is powering the transformation of traditional community centers into destinations that provide a much wider range of activities such as social gathering spaces and demo kitchens to teach healthy cooking and eating.

Be ready to see major changes to aquatic facilities that economically meet both entertainment and specific programming needs such as learning to swim, water aerobics and lap swimming which will play a role in rehabilitation and therapy. The movement toward adventure play with climbing walls, rocks walls, zip lines and cliff jumps is in full swing as well.

To listen:  SFS Helps Communities Promote Healthy Lifestyles

Andrew Ellenberg, KMBZ Move Series | August 13, 2016

1-Year Crossroads Anniversary - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Celebrates First Year in Crossroads

Today we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of our move to the Crossroads! Amazing views, tasty treats and a vibrant local life are just a few of the things we love about our new home in Kansas City’s Creative Crossroads District.

SFS Architecture Discusses Its Work On Churches - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Architecture Discusses Its Work On Churches

Almost everyone in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area has seen the gold-covered dome over the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

The oldest standing building on Quality Hill, the iconic landmark is the site of ongoing renovations. Intimately involved with the project over the years, SFS Architecture principal Marsha Hoffman told KMBZ that religious architecture is “an exciting project type that we really love working on.”

The firm has worked with more than 60 congregations and parishes in the region on projects that have included restoration, renovation and additions from worship spaces and fellowship gathering spaces to classrooms.

Other well-known projects include Atonement Lutheran Church on Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, Kansas and First Bible Baptist in Blue Springs, Missouri where it is working on a new children’s center.
Also noteworthy is the work SFS Architecture has been involved in on the Christ Lutheran Church and Education Center in Overland Park which is known for its beautiful commons area and gorgeous courtyard for group gatherings.

As the backbone of our communities, religious facilities play a crucial role in keeping people connected to their faith and the people they worship with. The facilities design and structure can add a lot to the experience.

Depending on the specific faith and location, tastes and demands are entirely different. “Every church, every congregation is different and their mission, values and needs vary greatly. We are starting every project with a clean slate even though we’ve done a variety of related projects,” said Hoffman.

These facilities serve many people so they raise funds for every project. Hoffman said “we have to make sure we’ve provided something that they feel is a good value, represents good stewardship of their money and fulfills their needs.”

A lot of people think of a church as a sanctuary where you pray but churches are much more than just places where you pray. They provide education and gathering places for the community.
Hoffman told KMBZ it’s important to leave room for expansion because all the money might not be there to do all the work at once.

SFS Architecture starts with a master planning process that looks ahead over a long period of time. So in master planning, it evaluates the existing facility, considers missions and goals as well as space needs, what the facility is lacking now and what repairs and maintenance need to be completed over time. “We work through all those things than start looking at conceptual design alternatives making sure that we are planning long term,” she said.

Part of the process involves bringing church groups together with the architects by holding large workshops with congregations just to get one on one input. This allows her team to resolve issues early in the planning phase and it’s a “good time to learn about your parish and the congregation and what needs to be done that isn’t even necessarily related to architecture to improve the experience. “

To listen: SFS Discusses Work on Churches

Andrew Ellenberg, KMBZ Move Series | August 6, 2016

SFS Principal Marsha Hoffman Dishes on Workplace Design - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Joins KMBZ to Discuss Strategies for Creating Productive Workspaces

Over the past 5 years, trends in interior design and architecture for the workplace have been rapidly evolving. Companies hire SFS Architecture to create environments that are exciting and stimulating. The environment where people do their jobs has a major impact on employee attitudes. If designed correctly, workspaces are conducive to making a person feel more positive about their jobs, an increase in motivation, leading to higher productivity and delivering an attractive return on investment to employers.

Interior Designers and Architects play a vital role in planning for commercial spaces. They create areas for collaboration and group meetings and separate those areas from clearly defined personal work spaces that are meant to be quieter. Many factors are involved in creating a comfortable work environment for employees not just in the physical space they work in, but the furniture and technology that they use.

“Technology has greatly impacted the workplace. It allows people to work anywhere so you need infrastructure to support that workstyle and provide a variety of spaces for people to work in whether they’re doing something they need to concentrate on alone or it’s more collaborative in a group setting,” said Hoffman.

Ancillary or shared spaces provide opportunities for people to collaborate spontaneously supporting an innovative corporate culture. To do their best work, people need to get away from the stress in their daily environment. Good workplace design offers employees some relief from the daily grind and a chance to refresh their minds. All the evidence from the most successful companies shows that group spaces where colleagues can congregate and talk drives positive results.

“Not everyone has to work at their desk. There should be other places within an office space that they can go and work outside of their routine workspace. It’s more comfortable. A change of pace,” she told KMBZ.

Providing a range of options where people can work creates a sense of freedom and choice. These flexible workspaces are especially attractive to younger generations looking for more opportunities to work outside of their workplace. They like working in teams and being able to collaborate with coworkers.

Millennials also appreciate mobility as reflected in furniture and design trends. Desks that can be flexible and work standing or at different levels and positions make work easier and keep the blood flowing. Standing is healthy. Movement keeps the mind fresh and able to focus.

Employers that encourage the use of stairs and other mobility throughout the day and give employees a choice in work environments and accessibility to their work in a variety of settings are seeing measurable benefits. It can help with employee retention and overall satisfaction which can have an impact on performance.

Smart companies are investing in the infrastructure and technology to make these choices a reality. This applies to meetings where people can stand up, conference rooms where they sit on stools rather than on a chair to stretch out their bodies, sitting in a bean bag or meeting in a restaurant style booth in the kitchen area. Offering a variety of places to be more comfortable promotes fluid movement and creative thinking in modern workspaces.

To listen: Designing More Productive Workspaces

Andrew Ellenberg, KMBZ Companies on the Move Series | June 11, 2016

Blue Springs Fieldhouse Wins Capstone Award - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Blue Springs Fieldhouse Wins Capstone Award

After voters rejected a tax increase to pay for a multipurpose community recreation and aquatics center, SFS worked with the City of Blue Springs, MO, to develop a lower cost plan for meeting the community’s recreation needs. The City purchased the underutilized Sports City building to transform into a new and modern community recreation center. Amenities provided in the facility include multi-activity courts, artificial turf field, walking tracks, state-of-the-art fitness center, rooms for aerobics, dance and spin classes, party/meeting rooms, locker rooms and a child watch area. Improvements were also made to the building’s exterior. Since opening in September 2015, the facility’s popularity among Blue Springs residents of all ages continues to grow and the facility has helped to revitalize a distressed building in the community.  The project received a 2016 Capstone Award for Community Impact from the Kansas City Business Journal.

SFS Joins KMBZ to Discuss Transforming Communities with Architecture - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Joins KMBZ to Discuss Transforming Communities with Architecture

It’s hard to imagine now that the space at 9th and Van Brunt used to be the headquarters of the Area Transportation Authority and its street cars which it later abandoned leaving an eyesore. What had been an overgrown wasteland has become athletic fields with a new artificial turf soccer field, two natural turf practice fields, stadium lighting, an amphitheater, event plaza, concession building with restrooms, paved parking lot, walking trail and professional landscaping.

“With civic projects there is a great opportunity to really impact the larger community around the site in a lot of different ways,” Kerry Newman, Principal at SFS Architecture told KMBZ. He said this project and others in underserved areas like it create “social gathering spaces where people can come together, build connections and share pride in their community.”

For 43 years SFS Architecture has been the go to firm for community investments that contribute to revitalizing neighborhoods and improving quality of life for residents. It was selected to design the redevelopment of 9th and Van Brunt by joining forces with community, city and federal partners that made the athletic complex possible. Roughly $2.6 million was invested in the site which included federal funds, money from the city’s Public Improvements Advisory Committee and a grant from the U.S. Soccer Foundation to install high quality artificial turf.

“It’s extremely rewarding to work on projects that impact the lives of the people that directly live, work, play, learn and worship in the facilities,” said Newman.

Next, SFS Architecture turns its focus to helping transform the former King Louie bowling alley and ice skating rink in Overland Park into the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center. Newman described the 1960s-era building as “iconic.” He said that when SFS Architecture works with community groups and organizations his award winning team looks at the long term cost of the facility which “greatly outweighs the first time cost.”
Most facilities are designed for a 30 to 50 year life span so it’s essential to view each project from a long term perspective especially with regard to reducing maintenance and operating costs over time. “Projects like this offer a great opportunity to encourage broader development,” said Newman.

Other arts and cultural offerings at the center are to include an indoor theater which will allow The Theatre in the Park to offer year-round performances. Johnson County Parks and Recreation plans to expand its arts classes and lessons for children and adults there and Johnson County Developmental Supports will roll out a program for emerging artists in the facility.

To listen: Transforming Communities with Architecture

Andrew Ellenberg, KMBZ Move Series | May 7, 2016

SFS Architecture Profiled in KMBZ Companies on the Move Series - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Architecture Profiled in KMBZ Companies on the Move Series

SFS Partners Kerry Newman and Marsha Hoffman share SFS Architecture’s approach to creating high impact architecture as part of KMBZ Companies on the Move Series. 

Designing for high community impact starts with cooperation between the business and public sectors. As a full service architectural interior design and planning firm focused on civic projects for 43 years, Kansas City based SFS Architecture is involved in projects that benefit the community. “We design buildings and spaces as part of a larger context not just the building itself but how it impacts the neighborhood and community,” Principal Kerry Newman told KMBZ.

From municipal city halls and public safety buildings to community centers, libraries, federal and national parks systems, the firm maintains a sharp focus on design excellence, efficiency, sustainability and high return on investment. SFS Architecture Principal Marsha Hoffman points to a major renovation project currently under construction at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center. It is slated to open in the Spring of 2017 and will include an indoor theater to use during winter months, a season conspicuously absent of performances. Another major component of the project is a new home for Johnson County Museum in Shawnee, Kansas.

Newman discusses the 9/11 Memorial at the Overland Park Fire Training Center, underscoring that it was a very important project for SFS Architecture. “We felt a great sense of responsibility to develop and design a great memorial,” he said. It continues to be very rewarding for the firm as every year a ceremony is held on 9/11.

One of the keys to the success of the 9/11 Memorial and other civic projects like it, is that the firm comes to the planning table with an extremely inclusive design process. Where there are multiple stakeholders involved, it is crucial to effectively incorporate multiple perspectives and goals into a cohesive vision. SFS Architecture has developed methodologies and tools for helping work through that process and reaching consensus.

“We work hard to truly understand each stakeholder’s perspective and develop solutions to address them in interactive workshops so we’re not off working by ourselves in a vacuum,” Newman told KMBZ.

Touching on its work in the academic sector, Hoffman said aging infrastructure is a “huge issue” for all major universities and higher education facilities. Architecture and design has evolved around technology and the needs of millennial students in order to create “a dynamic learning environment that supports all the different ways they want to study.” SFS Architecture recently completed Ottawa University’s student commons and library providing “a diverse space so that each student can decide where and how they want to work and feel sense of ownership and pride in their facility,” she said.

Newman adds that the strategic priority for every project his award winning architectural firm tackles is “not just initial design but long term functionality and operations.” These projects are viewed as long term assets in the community so SFS Architecture considers maintenance, energy efficiency, sustainable design and scalability to be more flexible and responsive to changing needs while planning for growth.

It’s all about designing for the long haul. “In early planning phase we consider future additions, especially how each facility could be logically developed whether at that point or long term and then evaluating everything that goes into the facility from a sustainability standpoint including how long materials will last so it doesn’t need constant maintenance or improvements” said Hoffman.

To listen:  SFS Profile on KMBZ

Andrew Ellenberg, KMBZ Move Series | April 23, 2016

St.Joseph Church Construction Kicks Off - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


St.Joseph Church Construction Kicks Off

Parishioners of Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Catholic Parish in Topeka, KS, gathered May 1, 2016, to celebrate the start of construction at St. Joseph Church. Members of the SFS design team were on hand for the blessing of the scaffolding by Father Tim Haberkorn, Pastor. Built in 1900, St. Joseph Church is on the National Register of Historic Places. The exterior restoration of the church will include tuck pointing, stone repair and exterior painting, among other exterior repairs or replacements, as well as an addition to the church enclosing a stairwell to the basement. The interior restoration includes new finishes, plaster repair, decorative and general painting, natural wood restoration, replacement of the wall between narthex and Church, elevator replacement, new handrails, Adoration Chapel and Sacristy renovation, and design of new Altar and Ambo.

Settling In - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Settling In

It’s nearly been a year since we moved to our new studio space in the Creamery Building in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. We’ve settled in to our new space and have wholeheartedly embraced our new workplace environment that supports collaboration, innovation and camaraderie.

Spotlight on Studio Fab - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Spotlight on Studio Fab

Through our Studio Fab we act as both designer and fabricator. Custom design elements, furnishings, fixtures and environmental graphics are developed as part of larger design projects undertaken by the firm or as stand-alone commissions and then fabricated with great care by our designers or in close collaboration with artisans and specialized craftsmen. This dual role of designer/fabricator offers efficiencies for small projects as well as opportunities for excellence in craftsmanship and artistry. Recent work includes design and fabrication of the Fire and Water Fountain feature at Ottawa University, gates to the bathhouses at Mission and Fairway aquatic centers and custom tables for SFS’ new Crossroads office.

Autism Border Challenge: A 7-Year Success - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


Autism Border Challenge: A 7-Year Success

Several years ago SFS began working with the Thompson Center at the University of Missouri to plan new facilities that would enable them to better conduct research and provide programs and treatment for those with autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities. It was during this time that SFS and other members of the Project Change – Awaken KC team approached the Thompson Center about an idea for a fundraiser benefitting not only the Thompson Center but also the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training at the University of Kansas.  Dubbed the Autism Border Challenge, the event played off the well-known rivalry of these two institutions by bringing together fans of these universities for a fun-filled evening of light-hearted competition all for a noble cause—to raise funds for as well as awareness of the work the two universities were doing to better understand autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Through the hard work and generosity of event sponsors, patrons and many volunteers, this event, now in its seventh year, has raised more than $60,000 for the Thompson Center and K-Cart.

SFS Relocates to Crossroads Arts District - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Relocates to Crossroads Arts District

SFS Architecture has relocated to new office space in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.  We are now occupying the third floor of the historic Creamery Building at 2100 Central Street. A growing studio, a desire to create a more modern workplace and a long-standing commitment to the urban core brought us to this newly repurposed building. 

The 5,860 SF space was designed by SFS to foster creativity, collaboration and camaraderie in an open office concept. Bench seating, team huddle spaces and large group meeting rooms work together to create a modern, dynamic and flexible workplace environment. The design draws on the historic features of the space, ample natural lighting and expansive views of the downtown skyline to create a contemporary urban aesthetic.  Staff will also enjoy access to the building’s rooftop deck as well as the neighborhood’s eclectic collection of eateries, retailers and art galleries.  “We are delighted to be in a space that truly reflects our company’s culture – open, collaborative and energetic,” said Marsha Hoffman, SFS Principal.

The new office will accommodate the firm’s thriving practice.  Over the last three years, the firm has experienced a 30% growth in staff and is continuing to hire to meet the needs of the firm’s expanding client base.  The firm is currently working on the renovation of the Kansas City Municipal Courthouse, the repurposing of the King Louie Building to create the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, a new community center for Excelsior Springs, MO, a new student center and library for Ottawa University and numerous Federal projects throughout the country for the General Services Administration, National Park Service and Bureau of Prisons.  “We now have the space needed for our expanded studio plus the room and flexibility needed to accommodate future growth,” said Kerry Newman, SFS Principal.

A 42-year-old design firm rooted in Kansas City, the move keeps SFS in the urban core while positioning it among the many other creative types who call the Crossroads home.  “We have always been drawn to the vibrancy and rich urban fabric of the Crossroads neighborhood, and are thrilled to now call it home,” said Hoffman.

Cookie Construction 2015 - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


The Amazing Cookie Race

SFS architects Whitley Fields and Allison Vandever helped to lead a team of Cadette Girl Scouts in the design and construction of a structure made of Girl Scout cookie boxes. The competition, a collaboration of the Girl Scouts of NE Missouri and NW Kansas, AIA Kansas City, Women in Design and Time Warner Cable, aimed to expose young women to the design profession.

For six months, Whitley, Allison and a few other fellow women design professionals worked with their team of Girl Scouts to conceptualize, design and engineer a structure using Girl Scout cookie boxes. On March 14, 2015, their team, along with four other teams, participated in Cookie Build – a six-hour competition during which the teams constructed their structures. Whitley and Allison’s team used 991 cookie boxes to create the Amazing Cookie Race. Voting is open to the public and ongoing at Crown Center through March 27, 2015.

2014 Color + Couture - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


2014 Color + Couture

Inspired by the changes in nature and the Radiant Orchid, the SFS designed dress for Color + Couture 2014 transforms like a delicate bud to a radiant bloom.  Crafted from CF Stinson fabric and seat and vinyl upholstery provided by teammate Lyons Company, the dress was sewn by a dedicated team of SFS designers and modeled by our very own Allison Vandever.

We Care 2014 - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


We Care 2015 - Kids, Crafts and Good Cheer!

SFS elves once again participated in We Care - an annual holiday-time event bringing together designers and kiddos from the Boys and Girls Club to create unique holiday gifts. With help from SFS elves, the kiddos put the finishing touches on holiday-themed wreaths crafted ahead of time back at the SFS workshop. As if the hugs and smiles from the kiddos weren’t enough, SFS elves captured the coveted “Craft of the Night Award!”

SFS Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


SFS Takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

SFS Architecture took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge issued to us by McCownGordon Construction. The setting was the beautiful new Mission Family Aquatic Center on a sizzling hot summer day. We nominated our friends and colleagues at Barker Rinker Seacat (BRS) Architecture, Confluence and Zahner!  http://bit.ly/YWmm9k

Show Stopper - SFS Architecture

SFS Architecture


A Show-Stopping Moment at Color + Couture 2013

SFS’ own Whitley Fields rocked the runway at the 2013 Color + Couture event hosted by IIDA Mid America Chapter. Modeling an SFS-designed ensemble featuring products from Momentum Textiles, Whitley brought home the Show Stopper Award!  SFS staff collaborated on the design concept, with a core group including Kelsey Fagan, Whitley Fields, Kevin Stiegler, Patti Kangethe, Kelly Stindt, Allison Vandever and Madi Christianer finalizing the design and constructing the ensemble. In addition to assistng with SFS’ entry, Kelsey Fagan co-chaired the event.