Kansas Health Institute _ 2016

Informing Policy.
Improving Health.

Topeka, KS _ 8,000 sqft
Architecture, Interior Design, Fabrication
Photo Credit _ Michael Robinson

As an active non-partisan think-tank organization dedicated to health and wellness, the Kansas Health Institute (KHI) plays host to a revolving door of meetings and seminars throughout the week. KHI engaged Hufft to renovate the first floor of their historic building to maximize the efficiency, hospitality and capacity of their conference center. The resulting design provides a collection of meeting spaces that accommodate a variety of group sizes and meeting styles. The rooms include several closed-door cubbies for individual work and quiet contemplation, small meeting rooms for collaborative brainstorming, and a sequence of larger spaces with flexible partitions that can expand to accommodate presentations for up to 170 people.

Design elements reference the mission of the organization, promoting the seven social determinants of health, and the civic pride of a state institution. The ceiling design is an abstraction mapping the healthiest counties in the state and the common hand wash stations are placed in the open to promote hygiene. The Hufft team fabricated a feature wall at the hospitality counter to replicate the contours of the Missouri River, the state’s Northeastern and most dynamic border.

The building renovation was approved for historic tax credits as a part of their financing plan. The parameters of working within the historic structure required keeping the original double doors and the central circulation corridor from the building’s initial use as a high school.

Awards & Press