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Kauffman Center wins top engineering award

Rebecca Maloney Rebecca Maloney Americas Press Office ,Boston
24 April 2013

Arup’s structural engineering for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has won the Grand Conceptor Award, the top honour bestowed by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

The award was announced last night during a ceremony at Washington DC’s Grand Hyatt. Arup’s chairman for the Americas, Mahadev Raman, and Washington DC group leader, Greg Giammalvo, accepted the award.

The Kauffman Center, a 356,000ft2 facility designed by Safdie Architects, serves as the focal point of Kansas City’s burgeoning arts district. The project’s structural engineering highlights include a tensile roof system, a “box-in-box” design that separates the facility into three buildings for acoustical purposes, and a split in materials that provided cost and functionality benefits.

I’m delighted that the Kauffman Center was awarded the ACEC's highest prize. The project was picked out of a national shortlist of eight Grand Award winners and singled out for high praise. The judges had kept the selection a secret until the last minute, so the announcement at the ceremony came as a genuine surprise.

Mahadev Raman, Arup Americas Chairman

Congratulations are also due to our local engineering partners in Kansas City, Structural Engineering Associates and WL Cassell & Associates, Inc.

The ACEC’s Engineering Excellence awards are judged by a panel of approximately 25 individuals drawn from fields ranging from engineering to government and media. Criteria include innovation; future value to the engineering profession; perception by the public; social, economic and sustainable considerations; and successful fulfillment of client and owner needs.

A number of projects have also won awards from regional ACEC chapters in the past two months. During an April 6 New York ACEC chapter event held at the Waldorf-Astoria, two Arup projects received the highest level award, Diamond: +Pool (architect: Family + PlayLab) in the studies, research and consulting category, as well as the Kauffman Center in the structural category. The building systems engineering of the Kauffman Center won the second-highest level, Platinum. Pier 15, East River Waterfront (architect: SHoP) won a Gold award in the special projects category, and Haeundae I’PARK (architect: Studio Daniel Libeskind) earned Silver in the structural category.

At a Massachusetts awards ceremony held on March 20 at Cambridge's Royal Sonesta Hotel, the John W. Olver Transit Center (architect: Charles Rose Architects), the nation's first zero net energy transit facility, won a Gold award in the building systems engineering category.