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4 November 2015

HOK Reveals Design for BoysGrow Culinary Center in Kansas City

KC Final Perspective

For the HOK 24 / SIXTY initiative, HOK’s Kansas City office has designed a new facility for BoysGrow, a nonprofit that teaches young men from the inner city about agriculture and entrepreneurism.

BoysGrow Dinner 3BoysGrow operates a small farm in Kansas City where young men enter a two-year program to learn about farming, agriculture, cooking and product development. At a recent farm-to-table benefit dinner hosted by local celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich, BoysGrow revealed HOK’s design for a new culinary center at the site. With a teaching kitchen, event space, lounge and office, the culinary center embodies the nonprofit’s mission to instill pride, identity and discipline within these young men.

“We designed the center and its functions to help BoysGrow accomplish its mission,” said Sonya Jury, HOK’s project manager. “The building form reflects their core goals of promoting the harvesting process, encouraging learning and minimizing environmental impact.”

The organic building form uses warm building materials that relate to the surrounding farmland. With views towards the south pond, the main dining hall and kitchen provide a visual connection to nature and the harvesting process.

BoysGrow pest control

Adjacent to the large dining hall, a 600-sq.-ft. main kitchen has 70 feet of countertop work space for the young chefs. The large commercial kitchen promotes learning while providing a space for food production and post harvesting.

KC ProductsIn addition to functioning as a culinary center, the facility will provide educational spaces where the young men can learn vocational and entrepreneurial skills. The boys use farm products to create items that are sold in local grocery stores, learning about various business tools as they develop and sell their products.

Sustainable design strategies include site orientation, daylight harvesting, passive solar heating, recycled materials, water recycling techniques and cross ventilation. The design orients the center to increase passive solar heating while decreasing electricity costs. Shading techniques and reflective materials also will reduce cooling loads in the summer.

The new HOK 24 / SIXTY report illustrates the firm’s commitment to making a difference. View it on Issuu.