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Highland's Klinefelter Barn Wins Design Award

Highland's Klinefelter Barn Wins Design Award

Highland’s Klinefelter Barn Wins Design Award

River Bluff Architects, the architectural firm that designed the renovation of the barn on Highland Community College’s Klinefelter Farm, was the recipient of the American Institute of Architects, Kansas City, 2012 Design Hero Award, an award that recognizes a client who values good design, understands the importance of supporting the architecture profession, and realizes the positive impact it has on a business and a community.

As noted by Sally Wurtzler, project manager for River Bluff, when the architects first arrived on site to view the project, the barn had manure in the basement and farm equipment parked upstairs. They knew this wasn’t exactly the kind of renovation project a college usually undertakes.

“However, Highland president David Reist and his College team had a forward vision to re-purpose the structure as a conference space for the College’s study of agricultural and sustainability issues.  The surrounding farmland, barn and restoration funds had recently been gifted by the Klinefelter family for the College’s use.

The design team of educators, staff, and students exercised leadership in the spirited discussions of issues they championed: creative reuse of materials, relationship of building/landscape, and the reflection of agrarian culture in the design.

The barn received a new metal skin, while old timbers were preserved inside. The space opened in September, with visitors delighting in the juxtaposition of the shiny modern exterior and its old structural bones.

The College’s viticulture program will soon tend vineyards on the property, native grasses and bee hives will take up residence nearby, camping is underway in the woods below the barn, and sustainability conferences have already been held.  As our culture begins its re-examination of environmental stewardship in agriculture, we honor the Klinefelter Team for helping create a unique space where students and faculty can explore these issues,” said Wurtzler.

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