Kansas City Museum Welcome Desk

PD22 Winner

Category:Furniture - Office/Home DesksLocation:Kansas City, Missouri, USADesigner:International Architects Atelier, Kansas City, Missouri, USAManufacturer: Kubik Maltbie Inc., Mt. Laurel Township, New Jersey, USA

IAA was commissioned by the Kansas City Museum to transform the former home of historically prominent Alexander Long into a museum that will blend local history, art, and architecture. At the heart of the home is the Grand Hall, which once boasted extravagant furnishings.

A furnishing of particular interest is evident in a historic photo – a striking stone and marble table in the center of the Hall – which inspired the design of a new reception desk. The table has two intricately carved stone bases on each end. On each base, the profiles of two winged lions emerge, with the weight of the heavy marble seemingly supported by their strong bodies.

The winged lion motif, which is widely regarded as a symbol of strength and power, was an integral part of the new desk design because it echoes the transformation of the building itself.

Both the motif and the building have changed throughout time and culture, yet remain steadfast and powerful today. Just as the building renovation was a balance of preserving history and upgrading for modernity, the winged lion motif in the new reception desk is a simplified nod to the past amidst the desk’s sleek, white curving forms and modern amenities.

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