Rebooting One Kansas House at a Time

By Allie Weiss
Working part-time from a tiny studio building, architect Chris Fein redesigns dwellings from a range of eras.

In our upcoming September issue, we visit the midcentury residence that architect Chris Fein renovated for his family in Prairie Village, Kansas. On his property sits a small studio, where Fein spends about half of his working time (his three-person practice, Forward Design | Architecture, recently relocated, but Fein still does a significant amount of his design work here). Here, we provide a glimpse at the creative outbuilding and a survey of the firm's recent residential projects. (Fein founded the practice in 2011).

Fein designed and built a 120-square-foot structure on his Kansas property to serve as a studio space for him and one other employee when the firm was starting out. 

Fein designed and built a 120-square-foot structure on his Kansas property to serve as a studio space for him and one other employee when the firm was starting out. 

The space holds a library of books and a work table for two.

The space holds a library of books and a work table for two.

In Leawood, Kansas, Forward Design | Architecture redesigned a kitchen and family room in a traditional home, creating a bright and minimalist space that takes cues from the residents' contemporary furnishings.

In Leawood, Kansas, Forward Design | Architecture redesigned a kitchen and family room in a traditional home, creating a bright and minimalist space that takes cues from the residents' contemporary furnishings.

The renovation dramatically increased natural light in the rooms and replaced tired finishes with a modern palette.

The renovation dramatically increased natural light in the rooms and replaced tired finishes with a modern palette.