All Access: Will Chmylak, Principal

Will Chmylak joins HMN Architects

An Exclusive Insight on The Birth Place at Olathe Medical Center from Will Chmylak, Principal

Will Chmylak has been with HMN Architects since 2014, after relocating to Kansas City from Texas with his family. Will was promoted in late 2016 to the newest Principal of HMN.

Q: Describe your role at HMN Architects.

Will: My primary role at HMN is project management, however, recently I was promoted to partner and principal at HMN so my typical project role has changed. Acting as a project manager is my typical day to day responsibility.

Q: You have been working on The Birth Place at Olathe Medical Center (OMC) project since you started at HMN in 2014. Can you discuss what the project has been like for you?

Will: The Birth Place has been a godsend for me. I think with my background it was a perfect way for me to get initiated into HMN and ultimately allow my family to move back to Kansas City. The project overall has been incredible. Large projects like this require a lot of time and so much of the project’s success is based on the relationships you have with the entire team – owner, end users, and contractors. We have worked well together as a team from the very beginning and I think it shows in the overall end delivery.

Q: How has the project impacted you professionally and personally?

Will: Professionally and personally, it has been an honor to work on this expansion. Living only minutes away from the hospital in Olathe, Kansas, I drive by it almost daily. I believe we put all our pride into projects we work on, however, it adds to the experience when the project is in your own community. Also, knowing the joy of child birth, it’s special to be responsible for the creation of the spaces where families can enjoy that experience.

Q: What is your favorite design aspect of the new tower?

Will: My favorite design aspect of the building is the calming finishes throughout the tower. We were fortunate to have a client that had a vision of making this building feel more like a hotel than a hospital. When that’s the direction, we as designers are free to open the canvas and have fun with the spaces.

Q: What was one of the challenges you faced during the project’s life span and how did you handle it?

Will: As with every project, there are challenges. I will admit this project went as flawless as can be. I think the biggest challenge you have in a building like this is how do you make it flow well and still be secure. Infant abductions are a very real scare at hospitals so it was our job to think through every possible scenario, which certainly adds to the difficulty of the project. Luckily, we had a great team of professionals who were instrumental in making sure we thought through the challenges from the very start.

Q: What has been one of your favorite experiences so far in your career?

Will: I have had unbelievable opportunities so far in my career so it is difficult to choose a favorite. The one aspect of this career that I love is the impact we make on the physical environment. I have worked on projects that I can see on TV (Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts). I was also involved in a project that impacted the skyline of a city (MD Anderson’s Zayad Building in Houston, Texas). Those experiences provided lasting impressions, and gives you a great feeling knowing you had impact on other’s.

Q: How did you become interested in career in architecture?

Will: When I was a kid, I loved to build with Lincoln logs and Legos. I asked my mom when I was about 8-years-old what I could do that involved building and she said “be an architect.” The rest is history.

Q: In your opinion, is it about winning or losing or how you play the game?

Will: I am very competitive so it is hard for me not to say “winning.” I will admit that you can play a great game and lose or play a horrible game and win so I think it’s all about knowing you did everything you could do to win. “Leave it all on the field,” in my opinion, is the most important part of the game.

Posted on July 20, 2017
Category: HMN News & Updates
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