Sho-Ping Chin Women's Leadership Summit Grant
University of Kansas (B.Arch)
Prairie Springs, KS
Kara Bouillette, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB is dedicated to advancing the profession of architecture while advocating for exposure to the arts. A vibrant and well-rounded architect, Bouillette’s foremost goal is to provide a positive and meaningful experience for her clients while delivering a successful project. Bouillette’s portfolio of work and her impact on the community displays her devotion to her client’s needs and her love of the arts and architecture.
Bouillette is a 2001 graduate from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Upon graduating from KU, Bouillette worked in several cities before moving back to the Midwest and calling Kansas City home. Bouillette began her career in Chicago working for the firm, Archideas, where she had the opportunity to work on the first prototype for an urban Home Depot in downtown Chicago. A move to Austin, Texas provided Bouillette with the opportunity to work for a small, two person firm where she learned every aspect of the architecture practice. It was at this firm, Group Two Architecture, that she discovered her love for architecture among the arts with a renovation and expansion of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts at Southwestern University. A move back to Chicago led Bouillette to the firm, Booth Hansen, where she worked on a variety of commercial projects. While at Booth Hansen she served as Project Architect for Block 110 in Kansas City’s new up and coming Power & Light District and this project was key in her decision to move back to Kansas City. Bouillette has been a resident of Kansas City now for the past twelve years.
As an associate at the Kansas City firm BNIM, she was the Project Architect for the firm’s expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University, both of which were designed collaboratively with internationally recognized, Steven Holl Architects. Most recently, Bouillette has served as Principal at Hufft, a design and fabrication firm in Kansas City, where she has led several projects, including a new academic building for the Kansas City Art Institute, a new headquarters for the non-profit arts organization, Charlotte Street Foundation, and a new master plan for the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Ms. Bouillette is now starting a new chapter in her career as she is in the early stages of creating her own architectural practice.
Bouillette is the product of a small rural Missouri town, where the idea of hard work and giving back to her community was instilled at an early age. In her free time, she volunteers extensively with a number of Kansas City’s non-profit organizations. As a previous member of the Board of Directors for the Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City, she helped the organization embark on a capital campaign for a new world-class children’s museum facility that is currently under construction. She serves as Vice-Chair on the Board of Directors for Kansas City Young Audiences where their mission is to “engage all youth in the arts, promote creativity, and inspire success in education.” She also currently serves as a Three-Year Director on the Board for the American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter where she helped found the chapter’s Education Outreach Committee, which introduces school-age children to design and further inspires them to explore the built environment. She also serves as liaison between the Board and AIA KC’s Equity in Architecture Committee. Bouillette is also an alumnus of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s esteemed Centurions Leadership Program; an intense two-year program that works to engage a diverse cross-section of local emerging leaders who are helping to shape Kansas City’s future.
In 2017, Bouillette had the distinct honor of being selected for the American Institute of Architect’s National Young Architect’s Award that honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers.