Design Matters: Treanor Architects, P.A.
TK: What inspired you to become an architect?
KELLEY: Early in my career I became somewhat frustrated with the quality of architecture being produced within our community and gave some very serious thought about my future. Why did I choose to become an architect and what was my inspiration? It was the older and historic buildings, the buildings that reflected high-quality design and that incorporated quality materials and high levels of craftsmanship. It was about the history of the people who felt compelled to make our cities and towns better. It was the buildings in our community that had a positive influence not only on the physical environment, but also contributed to the positive attitude of Topeka. I’ve been fortunate to have worked on many iconic and historic buildings in Topeka and around Kansas such as the Great Overland Station, Dillon House, Chase County Courthouse, Pittsburg Public Library, and of course the Kansas Statehouse.
TK: What project really got your creative juices flowing?
KELLEY: One of the projects in Topeka that Treanor is most proud of is the preservation and restoration of the Kansas Statehouse. The Statehouse truly belongs to and represents all Kansas citizens. Because of that, it represented a challenge for us that we described as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The building had served the State of Kansas well for over a 100 years. However, lack of maintenance and low-quality remodeling projects through time had diminished the functionality and beauty of the building. In addition to this, the building had outdated utilities as well as limited life safety and accessibility features. The challenge was how best to expand and modernize this historic landmark while at the same time preserving and restoring its original character-defining features. We believe we successfully completed the challenge and hope Kansans are proud of their capitol.
TK: How can good design and architecture help a business stand out?
KELLEY: A well-designed building is the physical manifestation of a business’ brand identity. It should reflect the personality of the business from the signage to workplace comfort. It is important for architects and interior designers to work together to ensure that all elements of a building demonstrates a business’ culture.
TK: What trends are you seeing in workplace design?
KELLEY: With offices in Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Texas, and Georgia we’ve certainly noticed a trend in workplace design where clients are influenced by the desire to reduce real estate costs, increase the recruitment and retention of employees, improve workforce productivity, and increase creativity and innovation. Within our own firm and our clients’ firms, we have seen the implementation of flexible workspace strategies as well as the adoption of “hoteling” – the use of unassigned desks, cubicles and offices reserved as needed instead of always having permanently-assigned seating.
How are projects incorporating “green”?
We are currently experiencing a desire from our clients for sustainable design solutions. We are now analyzing the energy and carbon foot print involved in building and maintaining where we live and work. This concept has not only improved the new buildings we design for our clients, it has also increased the desire for communities to preserve and revitalize existing and historic structures rather than demolishing them and sending large quantities of debris to our landfills.