As one of three primary tenants in the 520 West Pennway address, historically known as the Jensen Salsbury laboratories and later the McQueeny-Lock building, Centric Projects brings its new home to a 100–year old revitalized building in Kansas City’s vibrant Crossroads Arts District. KEM STUDIO was engaged to renovate the historic building while providing a full scope of architectural services including the design of Centric’s interior spaces.
Serving as both client and general contractor on the job, Centric collaborated with KEM STUDIO and its team of consultants. Centric occupies the first floor of the four-story building and the company’s layout is characterized by an open floor plate to facilitate team building and communication, a central service and circulation core populated with the firm’s diverse collection of curated art, and a bank of transparent conference rooms that occupy the south elevation. Upon entering, one is greeted by a large floor to ceiling graphic wall featuring a graffiti style art piece by Syke Style, a Kansas City based artist. A breakroom and informal meeting space are immediately adjacent with the meeting space providing direct access, via a large overhead glass garage door, to the promenade outside. Polished concrete floors cover the expanse of the space with the conference rooms featuring a modular carpet tile to soften the spaces and provide greater acoustical privacy. Window trim and other details reference historic conditions and can be found throughout the open space.
The building’s historic south entrance is retained while the primary entrance for Centric is located on the east elevation off of a new promenade providing access from West Pennway, to the south, to the building proper. To the north, and at the terminus of the promenade, at grade access is provided to an enhanced central courtyard with both plantings and hardscape to facilitate further interaction and respite. A new elevator and stairs inserted into the building’s northwest corner provides access to a communal roof deck featuring expansive views of the Kansas City skyline.
The collaborative teamwork at 520 West Pennway between Centric Projects and KEM STUDIO ensures Centric can continue to make Kansas City a cooler place to live, work, and play by building the City and its stories…from the ground up.