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Helix Architecture + Design Joins Forces With Blackbird Design Studio

Two Kansas City design firms Helix Architecture + Design and Blackbird Design Studio announced a merger Tuesday morning.

In its nearly 25 years in downtown Kansas City, Helix has gained a reputation for renovations of notable city landmarks, such as Midland Theatre and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department building.

Current Helix projects include renovating Traders Towers into a "smart" apartment building, turning Pickwick Plaza hotel and bus depot into a mixed-use development, and the recently completed Boulevard Brewing Company Visitors Center. 

Former 360 Architecture principals Erika Moody and Trevor Hoiland founded Blackbird almost four years ago. In a release, Moody said this new endeavor provided an opportunity to "chart our own course, elevate design and elevate our city."

Blackbird's portfolio includes projects such as building Olsson Associates corporate headquarters, renovating the Creamery Building into flexible office suites, and renovating the historic Corrigan Building. But, she said, the merger "allows us to continue what we started on a larger scale." 

According to Helix founding principal Reeves Wiedeman, "In merging Helix and Blackbird we are bringing together the best of both worlds — stability, mentorship, extraordinary talent, a nimble approach to change and the ability to truly lead the industry into its next era."

The newly merged firms will join forces inside Helix's headquarters at 1629 Walnut in the Crossroads Arts District. It will operate under the name Helix Architecture + Design, although a new brand identity will be launched. 

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter at @lauraspencer.

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