Building dreams

Voorhees’ concept takes him to national contest

Voorhees focuses on painting his final model of the Sears Kit Home. His hard work paid off at the state competition where he placed second, but was sent to nationals because the judges enjoyed his overall design more.

Reagan Devinney, Reporter

Most high school students have something that they are extremely passionate about. For Braydn Voorhees, senior, it is architecture.

Voorhees first got interested in architecture when he was in middle school playing the game The Sims.

So, Voorhees has been taking numerous classes to help him build his architectural skills. He has taken Interior Design I and II as well as multiple levels of CAD.

“Braydn has a natural gift that most people don’t have. He can visualize the structure and design before drawing it out,” Jason Smith, industrial technology teacher, said.

Later, in Voorhees’ junior year of high school, he competed in an architecture contest at Johnson County Community College and took first place.

Since then, he has competed in the state TSA Architecture Competition that was in March in Salina, Kan.

At the state competition, Voorhees received second place only because his presentation ran 10 minutes too long and he was deducted 50 points.

Voorhees entered because he wanted to see what skills other people his age  have in architecture.

“I want to be the best when I go into the architecture program at Kansas State University (KSU),” Voorhees said.

KSU is the fourth best in the nation for Architecture, Planning and Design (APDesign) after Harvard and Yale.

For his state project, he renovated a 1920s Sears Kit Home.

“I didn’t want to destroy any of the house because it was a piece of American history,” Voorhees said.

The only thing he changed on the house was taking out one exterior wall. He added more than what was required, and he painted the house for the competition.

Voorhees got the wood materials for his model  from Greg Wheeler, industrial technology teacher, and would like to give a “special thanks” to him for helping out.

Even though he received second place, the judges and coordinators decided to send him to nationals instead of the person who got first place because they ultimately liked his housing renovation better and wanted him to represent the state of Kansas.

Besides his ticket to nationals, Voorhees also received a plaque for his achievements.

Nationals will be held in Dallas on June 18 at the Gaylord Hotel.

Voorhees’ idol from the architecture world would be Frank Lloyd Wright.

Frank Lloyd Wright is well known for designing and constructing homes that seemed quite modern for the time period during which he lived.

Not only is Voorhees going to nationals, but he also signed up for another competition in Dallas that is in July.

He is making a tribute house for Wright and is using his thought process and style of architecture.

After high school, Voorhees wants to become an architect. “Architecture is a hobby and a passion of mine. I want a job that makes me excited to go to work every day,” Voorhees said.