ACI Boland Architects Relocates to the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City

Spurred by Growth in Staff Size and Company Culture

KANSAS CITY (August 23, 2016) — ACI Boland Architects is preparing for a move to the Crossroads Arts District, into a former Film Row building at 1706-10 Wyandotte. The move is spurred both by growth — the firm’s staff has expanded 35 percent in the past eight months — and a desire to better reflect the company’s creative culture.

The move caps a year-long search across the Kansas City metro for a new space. The Crossroads Arts District has bloomed over the past two decades into a haven for artists, tech companies and civic organizations such as the Kansas City Symphony.

“Our team is engaged in creative work every day, helping guide clients through their architectural journeys,” says ACI Boland principal Vic Mosby. “We realized we needed to apply equal attention to our own journey. A space like this helps attract and retain talent, and continuously inspires our team’s creativity and innovation.”

ACI Boland has earned a reputation as a market leader in design for commercial, education and healthcare facilities, but is increasingly providing architectural services for other markets as well. The now 50-person firm has added 11 people since December to accommodate their growth.

Recognizing a headquarters is an architect’s calling card, the firm had a clear vision for the interior:

·         A modern mix of old and new. The space was once two buildings and the exterior brick wall dividing the two now provides organizational structure for a large studio. Strategically-placed holes in the exposed brick wall allows for continuous collaboration.

·         A flexible, inspiring place to work. Natural daylight brightens the interior, which is structured to allow employees to choose how and where they work. Focus spaces include wireless desktops, conference rooms, classrooms, resource library, kitchen, lounge spaces and a spectacular rooftop deck.

·         A technology-rich environment. The building accommodates current and future tech, so nothing stands in the way of dynamic communication. Virtual desktops, wireless screen-sharing, cloud-based computer systems and soft phones cut the cords and support flexibility.

·         An innovative response to design challenges. The two-story portion of the building was originally planned for two separate tenants, with a common entry vestibule. The entrance was redesigned to include a double-height atrium and reception area.

The building is owned by Walnut Creek Ranch, LLC with Shirley Bush Helzberg as the developer. It’s one of several buildings Helzberg has redeveloped at each corner of 17th & Wyandotte, including the restoration of the historic Webster School into the Webster House Antiques & Restaurant, renovation of the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building and construction of the Webster Garage. 

“ACI Boland is exactly the type of tenant Shirley hopes to attract to her office properties,” says Peter Lacy, President of Lacy & Company. “They are successful leaders in their field and growing into other areas.  Their presence will greatly enhance the vibrancy of the neighborhood.”  

Lacy & Company served as the owner’s representative and leasing agent. ACI-Boland was represented by Travis Gage of CBRE. JE Dunn Construction executed Helix Architecture + Design’s plan for the building shell renovations, and also completed ACI Boland’s tenant improvements. In addition to creating its own vision for the interior, ACI Boland is working with DesignHaus to develop environmental signage that captures the firm’s focus on the journey.


About ACI Boland Architects

ACI Boland Architects focuses on the design of innovative and sustainable facilities. Since 1979, we’ve supported our clients with a full range of architectural, planning and interior design services for a variety of project types. Today, four principals in two offices lead our efforts in several markets, including commercial, education, healthcare, senior living and the public sector. With our clients, we’re always exploring new solutions that celebrate the journey of architecture — both embracing history and looking forward.



Director of Interior Architecture, Mara Sabatini wins BIG for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!

ACI Boland Architects is proud to present this year’s, 2016 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Woman of the Year, our Director of Interior Architecture, Mara Sabatini. Over the past 10 weeks Mara has worked tirelessly, fundraising and raising awareness of the need to find a cure for blood cancers. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Societys mission is cure leukemia, lymphoma Hodgkins disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families this became Maras mission as well. 

Approximately every 3 minutes one person in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer and approximately every 9 minutes, someone in the US dies from a blood cancer. LLS is making cures happen by providing patient support services, advocacy for lifesaving treatments and the most promising cancer research anywhere.

To date, LLS has invested $1 billion in research to advance therapies and save lives.   Mara has been a part of LLS for 11 years when her three-year-old neighbor, Lauren, was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). Watching Lauren fight her battle Mara realized how precious life is. From that day forward Mara has committed her time and energy raising money to help find a cure for blood cancers. It is incredible that with only a 66% chance of survival, Lauren is now a healthy 15-year-old, excited about life! 

Through Maras campaign for Woman of the Year, she raised an incredible amount of over $65,000 in just 10 short weeks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We could be more proud of the work Mara accomplished and are humbled to be a part of the journey with her.

Job Posting: Design Team Members

ACI Boland Architects is a growing design firm looking for energetic, collaborative and dedicated individuals to be a part of our design team. Our firm is made up of a wide variety of dedicated individuals who are passionate about design, work hard together, continuously collaborate, and laugh a lot!  

The ideal candidate will be a designer able to apply knowledge and expertise of drawing, graphic design and 3D Model/VR to provide support and assist the team and who thrives in a FUN, but fast paced, multi-tasking environment.  Qualifications include: minimum of 1-3 years’ experience working in Revit, proficient use of graphic design applications, prior experience in architecture is preferred.

If you want to work for a firm with an industry leading benefits package, love collaborating with others and enjoy working on a variety of project types please send cover letter, resume and references to:

No phone calls or agencies please.

It's Summer - Why Not Take That Needed Vacation!

If you are a procrastinator, it's not too late to plan your summer vacation.  We asked our staff what their most memorable and favorite vacation getaway spots have been over the years and received plenty of ideas to keep your vacation calendars filled for years to come!

Whether you want to stay close to home or travel the globe, let ACI Boland Architects make a few suggestions and help you begin making your plans.   After all, it’s about the Journey!

Here are just a few of our favorites:


Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento, Italy

Sorrento, Italy because of its beauty, peacefulness and culture.  A picture says a thousand words right?!
Submitted by Mara Sabatini



Eureka, Springs

Eureka, Springs

Eureka Springs, Arkansas We stayed in the Treehouse Cottages in town and they were wonderful!  It was definitely different, but so nice to have our own space and to be surrounded by such wonderful scenery.  We did several "touristy" things, but our favorites were:
Turpintine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Thomcrown Chapel and Lake Leatherwood.
Submitted by Kirsten Smethers

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos

My favorite vacation is Turks and Caicos.  Very relaxing quite place. Got to spend time with just my sister.  I would like to go back someday, maybe take the rest of my family or maybe not.
Submitted by Kelly Badali


Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach, California - Joe and I went whale watching and saw 4 whales.  I caught this “Whale tale” photo from the boat.  The most awesome sight up close you can imagine, to see the biggest mammal on the planet!!
Submitted by Connie Lauer


Winter Park, CO

Winter Park, CO

Winter Park, Colorado - I try to go every year to mountain bike, kayak and camp.
Submitted by Jim Voight


Alley Springs Mill, Alley Springs Campground, Jacks Fork River

Alley Springs Mill, Alley Springs Campground, Jacks Fork River

Anywhere within the Ozark National Scenic Riverways  but my favorite place is Alley Springs just outside of Eminence, MO nestled right on the Jacks Fork River.  I have been camping, hiking, caving, canoeing, swimming, biking  and horseback riding there since I was a small child.  It is a tradition in my family and we try to go at least once a year!  It’s a great place for kids of ALL ages.
Submitted by Suzie Apel


Walt Disney World - Orlando, FL

Walt Disney World - Orlando, FL

Disney World – Happiest Place on Earth
Submitted by Sam Beckman


Napa Valley, CA

Napa Valley, CA

Napa Valley, California:  Tasting of the different wines
Submitted by Duane Cash


Wyandotte, OK (Oklahoma D-Day Paintball Games)

Wyandotte, OK (Oklahoma D-Day Paintball Games)

That’s easy … Wyandotte, OK at the Oklahoma D-Day Paintball game.  2,000 paint-ballers in one place trying to shoot each other out all week.  It culminates in an 8 hour game on Saturday the replicates the D-Day landings and battles.  It’s the best!
Submitted by Jeff Stockman


New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans, Louisiana:  It really is all about the food.  Parades are nice, but it’s really about eating so much that you almost count as checked luggage on the return flight.
Submitted by Doug Loveland


Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico

Cozumel, Mexico:  Stay for a few days or for a few weeks.  You will never run out of things to do in Cozumel!  Our favorite things to do were playing in the ocean, swimming with dolphins and shopping in the local villages!
Submitted by Suzie Apel


H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, Osceola, MO

H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, Osceola, MO

H Roe Bartle Scout Reservation: 10 days in the woods nearly technology free, Reminder of what a true miracle air conditioning is. Reminder of how incredible an ice cream float tastes after a mile hike. Campfire and Dining Hall skits. Being part of an experience that helps  scouts transition from  nervous first year campers who don’t really want to go to confident leaders guiding younger scouts at camp. Watching adults learn to let go and let the boys run the camp.
Submitted by Bob Bosley


Winslow, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona

Winslow, Arizona Meteor Crater just east of Flagstaff, AZ.  You can't go down to the bottom of it, but they have guided tours around a portion of the rim.  It is mentioned that the Statue of Liberty could fit within the crater, so it's fun to think about the other stuff that could fit in there as well.  We also joke that this is the meteor strike that led to the extinction of dinosaurs.
Submitted by Mark Hunter



Other ideas submitted included:

Staycation – Why not sleep in your own bed!  There are plenty of local activities and attractions bound to keep you busy!   Here are some links around the region that are loaded with things to do and places to visit.

Hermann, Missouri – The Birthplace of Missouri’s Wine Country  - This is a great extended weekend getaway for any couple or group of friends.  Enjoy your time filled with one or many wine tasting tours, shopping, galleries and museums and plenty of other attractions and activities, you are bound to come back time and time again!

A Journey of Generosity and Connection to the Community

Custom Playhouse benefiting The ALS Association, Mid America Chapter

We recently completed design on this playhouse donated to the ALS Association-Mid America Chapter's Night of Hope Gala earlier this year. Construction is being coordinated and will begin this week!  Thank you to the Christenson family for supporting the ALS Association and allowing ACI Boland Architects to design this memory for your girls.


Project Shine benefiting the Independence School District

Since 2008 ACI Boland Architects has participated in Project Shine by volunteering their time one Saturday in July to assist the Independence School District refresh their schools by painting, landscaping, cleaning, etc…  This year worked at Bingham Middle School where we assisted with several landscaping projects.


Kansas City Corporate Challenge benefiting Special Olympics Kansas City Metro

Team ACI “Athletically Challenged Individuals” competed for the 1st time ever in Kansas City Corporate Challenge (KCCC).   The games lasted approximately 10 weeks and included everything from individual sports such as swimming to team sports like bowling.  Each year KCCC elects a charity to support throughout the games with a portion of each team’s registration fees donated to the designated charity.  This year the charity organization was Special Olympics Kansas City Metro.

Meet a Member - Connie Lauer

Interviewed by: Jessica Morrow

In 1980, when Connie Lauer graduated from Architecture School at Mississippi State University, she was one of the first women in the program’s history to do so. Lauer, now an Architect at ACI Boland, has continued to leave her footprint on the Architecture field. She takes a great deal of pride in her accomplishments as a woman in a male dominated field, but there’s more to Connie than just a trail blazer for women in the Architecture industry. She is also an artist, sport’s fanatic, and cupcake lover to boot.

JM: How long have you been in the A/E/C industry?   
CL: I graduated from Architecture School (Mississippi State University) in 1980 so, 35 years.

JM: Why did you choose ACI Boland?                                                                                             
CL: My last employer referred me to them. ACI was a busy firm and there was opportunity to design my own projects.

JM: What accomplishment (work related or otherwise) are you most proud of? 
CL:To be successful in a male dominated career, when I was told early on (in High School) that I couldn’t do it.

JM: Outside of your career, what is your biggest passion?                                                            
CL: Photography.  To capture a special moment in a person’s life is awesome.  I love action shots too.  I recently went whale watching in Newport Beach, CA and captured a great “whale tail” picture that I’m proud of.

JM: What is you favorite thing to do in Kansas City? 
CL: I love sports, so a Royals or Chiefs game is right up my alley.

JM: What is you favorite Kansas City restaurant? 
CL: Jack Stack for dinner and Cupcake A La Mode for dessert.

JM: If you could spend the day in someone else’s shoes (dead or alive) whom would it be and why? 
CL: Nadia Comaneci in 1976 Montreal Olympics, she won the first perfect 10 in gymnastics. I’ve always wondered what that felt like.

JM: Tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know.  
CL: I throw big parties for family members with musical skits.  I make all the costumes and scenery and direct the whole production.  I like doing things for others that make them feel special!

JM: What's piece of advice you’d like to share?
Do something hard and/or challenging. It builds character.

JM: What’s your favorite quote or saying?
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”.

Project Preview - Overland Park Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center

Ground was recently broke for a new Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Overland Park, Kansas. This 25,000 sq. ft., 2-Story medical office building will be located on 135th and I-69 Highway.  It is the third facility in the Kansas City metro area. The other two centers are located in Lee’s Summit and Leawood. ACI Boland Architects has been engaged with owner, Dr. Glenn Goldstein, since 2001 in the master planning and execution of his comprehensive new vision for how patients receive care for dermatologic and skin cancer related issues.  Along with our long-term relationship with Dr. Goldstein, ACI Boland has also been in partnership with Excel Constructors for the construction of all three Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers. ACI Boland Architects and team are thrilled to continue this journey with our long-term client and look forward to their growth and potential of more projects in the coming years. 

   Rendering of Overland Park Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center


Rendering of Overland Park Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center

Canstruction 2015

Over the past several years, the team at ACI Boland Architects has rolled up their sleeves and put their thinking caps on to participate in the Kansas City Canstruction® Event. This event is something our entire ACI staff looks forward to every year. Canstruction® is a unique charity that hosts competitions, exhibitions, and events showcasing large structures made entirely out of full cans of food. Each year there is a theme associated with the event and competitors do their best to come up with a creative way to build their structure. After assembling the project, the “Cansculptures” go on display to the public in a giant art exhibition.  After the event comes to an end, the food is all donated to local hunger relief organizations. The local benefactor here in Kansas City is Harvestors.

Canstruction® has taken place in more than 150 cities across the US, Australia, South America, Europe, and Asia. Since 1992, the Canstruction® events have helped provide over 25 million pounds of food to families in need.

 For the 2015 Kansas City Canstruction® event, ACI Boland Architects decided on a design theme that is very true to our city as well as our own award winning competition BBQ team “On the Sauce”.  Nothing says KC like BBQ and our team took the design and assembly of the structure as serious as they take a debate on whose BBQ is the best.

   ACI Boland team members, Suzie Apel and Brad Guess, assembling the bottom layers of our Canculpture. 


ACI Boland team members, Suzie Apel and Brad Guess, assembling the bottom layers of our Canculpture. 

 ACI Boland Architects along with build partner McCownGordon put a lot of hard work into our Cansculpture this year and the end result was awesome! We may have not walked away with one of the top honors, but we had a great time working together to help those in need right here in Kansas City.

   ACI Boland and McCownGordon team members. Half way finished!


ACI Boland and McCownGordon team members. Half way finished!

   The finished product! 


The finished product! 

 This section of our newsletter is typically reserved for “fun facts”, however there is nothing fun about hunger. We wanted to share some facts that continue to inspire us to do our part in helping the fight against hunger.


·      15.1 percent of people in our region, or one in seven, is food insecure.

·      41 percent of the food insecure children live in households that do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and often must rely on charitable food assistance programs.

·      Eight states exhibited statistically significantly higher household food insecurity rates than the U.S. national average. Missouri was one of those states at 16.9%

·      In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children.

·      World wide, 165 million children under the age of 5 experience stunted growth due to malnutrition.

If you are interested in opportunities to help those in our community that are food insecure, CLICK HERE to visit Harvesters website.

The Kansas City Star featured ACI Boland's Cansculpture in a recent issue. To view this article CLICK HERE!


When the Journey meets Hope and Healing

Talk to any of our staff here at ACI Boland Architects and you will hear us talk about “The Journey”. The journey of architecture – the process, the discovery, the experience.  So what?  Doesn’t every design firm understand the design process or “The Journey”? Who cares and why does all of this matter? 

In 2014, Shawnee Mission Medical Center opened its new Cancer Center on the southwest corner of the campus located at I-35 and 75th Street. Executive Director of Shawnee Mission Health Oncology Services, Becca Bell understands the importance of the Journey.  “We’re built on the Shawnee Mission Health foundation of providing much more than medicine,” said Bell.  “It’s really about the whole cancer journey, not just the treatment.”

With a cancer center: experienced doctors, the best medicine, and the latest technology are some of the things that matter most.  As designers we understand the little things that affect the patients matter as well. It is about an environment that supports personalized care with compassionate caregivers and having an understanding that it’s about life, and about thriving, growing and recovering quickly from this disease.

To ensure the Center was designed with the patients in mind, focus groups were held to learn what the patients’ value most in a treatment center.  These groups revealed patients wanted a convenient, comfortable space to receive their therapy.   To meet these basic requests, the infusion therapy bays were designed with the patients’ comfort in mind.  Each bay includes additional outlets for patients’ electronics, a television, and cabinets for personal belongings, a comfortable recliner with extra seating for guests. There are also two private rooms where patients can have additional privacy if desired with more space for guests.

In addition to giving the patients convenience and comfort, we wanted to design a space that felt holistic and appealed to every sense.   We lined the 14 treatment bays with windows that filled the space with natural sunlight and nature.  Relaxing hues and use of wood and other natural surfaces imparts feelings of warmth by creating an additional connection to the environment.

You see, the Journey is not just about meeting our clients’ criteria and goals for a project; it’s also about understanding how our design will ultimately affect how others live.   This is our passion – responding to the uniqueness of each project, and each person whose life journey will be impacted by how we do our jobs. That is what matters most!