Discover Nunemaker Center Feb. 23

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The Nunemaker Center, home to KU’s Honors Program, keeps a low profile. A completely unobtrusive and unremarkable building along Engel Road, it often goes unrecognized by people who’ve lived in Lawrence for years. One reason why is because it is dwarfed by large multi-story buildings nearby, rendering it nearly invisible by comparison. But it is a ballerina among brutes. The unassuming facade hides a revelation inside — a stimulating mix of concrete geometrical shapes, angles and light. As envisioned by Irene Nunemaker, a longtime executive with Avon cosmetics whose generosity made the building possible, the design was to provide an “exciting educational environment” for students. It has indeed done well in that regard. All of which is a bit ironic: it was designed by Ron Labinski, FAIA, an architect regarded as the father of sports facility architecture. But the architecture speaks for itself. It has be seen to be appreciated, or perhaps discovered for the first time.

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