Even as a child, Andy Kinslow knew his career path.
“I decided in the third grade that I wanted to be an architect,” Kinslow, KKT Architects founding owner, said by phone. “Thankfully, I had teachers in grade school, particularly later in the fifth grade, that encouraged me to pursue that. Then all through high school, I took classes that were more directed to the architectural side of things, more math, physics, things like that.”
The decision was a sound one.
AIA (American Institute of Architects) Oklahoma recently honored him with an award for lifetime achievement in the industry.
“The firm is going to be 30 years old this next year,” Kinslow said of the honor. “It’s recognizing the 30 years of hard work of KKT Architects.”
Developer John C. Bumgarner of Bumgarner Assets Management, LLC is among those who endorsed Kinslow for the award.
“He consistently creates innovative design solutions that have lasting appeal,” Bumgarner wrote in his recommendation. “He is equally skilled at both residential, public and commercial projects … a very rare talent.”
Blake Ewing, who served nearly seven years on the Tulsa City Council, also praised Kinslow.
“A great community needs big thinkers and selfless citizens. In Andy Kinslow, Tulsa has both,” Ewing wrote on behalf of the honoree. “As long as I’ve been in elected office, Andy has embodied the most desirable characteristics of a great community leader.
“He’s bold and innovative, not afraid to challenge conventions or to share ideas that stretch the community’s imagination. He’s also quick to volunteer his time and resources towards any effort that might inspire our community to contemplate a more design-forward future.”
Having grown up in Russellville, Arkansas, Kinslow earned a degree from the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design in 1980. He later worked two years in Tampa, Florida, before coming to Tulsa to found Integrated Space Design in 1989.
In 1999, Kinslow approached Keith and Todd Architects about merging their companies to form a full-service architect and interior design firm, and Kinslow, Keith & Todd was born. The company was rebranded as KKT architects in 2015 followed by a change in ownership, with Sarah Gould becoming Kinslow’s new business partner.
Kinslow has been involved in the design of buildings, such as Unit Corp. headquarters, the Woody Guthrie Center, Tulsa Historical Society and the Zarrow Center for Art and Education.
KKT helped with downtown’s revitalization with the conversion of the Philtower Lofts and the build-out of Mayo 420 Apartments.
KKT also is the architect for the $45 million Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab, Gathering Place’s phase II anchor. Ground is expected to be broken in 2019.
Kinslow and Gould now oversee a firm of 74 people.
“We’ve never been about winning awards,” he said. “It’s more about pleasing our clients that return for more projects. … It’s really all about personality at our firm, making sure we have a good blend of people who can all work together.”