Part 2: Kellogg: Webb Road Redesign
Part 1 of this series on our Kellogg project, in Wichita, KS, explained the initial conceptual design inspirations for the project and demonstrated how these inspirations influenced our primary design work. After these designs were completed, the entire project got a massive redesign, of which the aesthetics were only a small part. Bridges and roads were redesigned or removed and the landscape and grading was simplified, all in an effort to reduce the overall budget. As a part of this, the aesthetics were also reviewed and redesigned, both to fit the new infrastructure and to accommodate the smaller budget.
The initial design inspiration of wind through the prairie was developed further for the wall patterns during this redesign phase. The individual pattern panels were refined to create strong formal gestures. Each unit was designed to work as a distinct piece and as a part of a larger graphic pattern. Considering multiple scales in this manner allows for the pattern to have deeper meaning and to be read from many viewpoints.
The new pattern mapping takes into account the longer stretches of continuous straight walls. The patterns build tension and release over these lengths to activate the space and keep the walls interesting. Varying density, maintaining flow and introducing changes in repetition are key to building a strong pattern.
The most dramatic changes occur at Webb Road Bridge, where the large mesh sculptures were replaced with simpler cut metal railings. These railings are similar to solutions devised for River Road and especially Arlington. They follow the curves of the bridge and their patterning mirrors the patterning on the concrete barriers below them.
The landscape disks at the four corners of the Webb Road interchange have also been greatly simplified. Now, arching patterned concrete walls intersect to form planters for native landscaping. Clusters of plantings in the front provide texture and color, while taller trees line the back to add vertical interest, marking the corners.
Having a strong initial concept allowed us to realize this redesign on an extremely accelerated timetable. We developed our concepts and applied them in a pared-down solution that made the most out of the limited budget. This flexibility in design thinking and quick response in design results are hallmarks of our process. Our depth on knowledge in form, space and patterning informs all of our work and allows us to successfully meet a project’s challenges.