Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall

Higher Education Case Study
The Kansas City Art Institute’s (KCAI) Paul and Linda DeBruce Hall redefines the student experience. The flexible, collaborative space centralizes multiple student services and operations, which had been scattered across campus and serves as the new home for Art History, Creative Writing, Entrepreneurial Studies and Liberal Arts departments.


Kansas City Art Institute


Collaborative Delivery


Kansas City, MO

The two-story building integrates into the neighborhood at 44th and Oak using brick and stone as influential materials in the exterior design.

 The Hall’s main entry serves as a tribute to art historians and features the names of prominent figures laser cut into panels made by KCAI students. The interior centers around a public atrium with a grand staircase that connects KCAI’s various activities and user groups.

Classrooms and administrative operations are placed around the building’s interior perimeter to connect students and staff to the outdoors. The courtyard garden serves as a space for relaxation and inspiration.

Nestled next to a historic residential area, required special-use permits and close coordination with the neighborhood. In preconstruction, the team discovered a balance of accommodating aesthetics for neighboring homes while maintaining the budget. We worked through several different design iterations of façade, skin, and atrium options to develop a solution that exceeded KCAI’s goals.