Two Kansas City architecture and design firms announce merger

The new brand for Helix Architecture + Design after its merger with Blackbird Design Studio.
The new brand for Helix Architecture + Design after its merger with Blackbird Design Studio. Courtesy of Helix

The Helix Architecture + Design name will continue after a planned merger with Blackbird Design Studio, the two companies announced Tuesday morning.

The two Kansas City-based firms will consolidate in the Helix headquarters on Walnut Street in the Crossroads Arts District.

Helix and Blackbird leaders said combining their resources will allow them to strengthen their marketplace position on Kansas City’s “unprecedented real estate development” scene.

Reeves Wiedeman, co-founder and principal of Helix with Jay Tomlinson, said merging with Blackbird will make it easier to bring a “nimble approach to change.”

Erika Moody, co-founder and principal of Blackbird with Trevor Hoiland, said the merger will allow the organization to compete on a larger scale.

The firms had worked as partners to land a new client that both were pursuing. Someone in the industry suggested they make the partnership permanent, and the wheels were set in motion.

Notable Helix projects in the downtown Kansas City area include renovation of Traders Towers, renovation of Pickwick Plaza and development of the proposed Conservatory of Music and Dance for the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Blackbird’s work includes renovation of Corrigan Station and the Olsson Associates corporate headquarters.

Leaders of both firms said they plan to continue their firms’ philosophy of donating time and leadership to area civic and nonprofit organizations.

The combined leadership team also includes Michael Heule, Bryan Gross, Kristine Sutherlin, Alissa Wehmueller and Evan Fox.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford