Made in the shade at Clinton Lake Marina
KU School of Architecture & Design students help a lakeside locale stay cool.
The coolest new spot in Lawrence to grab a bite and a cold drink this summer is the Knot Bar at Clinton Lake Marina; that it’s not the hottest is thanks to the work of industrial design students in KU’s School of Architecture & Design.
Professor Nils Gore’s ARCH 509 class collaborated with marina owners Peter and Erin Meiusi and project manager Travis Andregg, c’13, a’20, c’20, a design program alumnus, to sketch plans for making the nearly 600-slip marina’s prime lakeside locale an entertainment destination. Job one: Provide a place to get out of the sun.
“We had a small patio with no shade and maybe two picnic tables,” Andregg says. “We knew we wanted shade. We knew we wanted to entertain. We knew we maybe wanted some beverages, or maybe not.”
Beverages ultimately made the cut, but that initial ambivalence—“We didn’t wanna be serving tequila shots till 2 in the morning; that’s just not the vibe out here”—is enshrined in the Knot Bar name. The floating patio includes a bandstand, a Tiki hut and a serving station that marina staff dubbed a “not bar” during the design phase; the spelling twist adds a double pun on nautical speed and sailing knots. Seating space expanded tenfold, and a louvered, curvy canopy inspired by a water-skiing wave provides a stylish sun shelter.
Andregg says marina staff loved brainstorming with students. “It was cool to work with them and see their horizons get huge, then fun to kind of dial back and pinpoint specific things we liked. I think it turned out great.”
Steven Hill is associate editor of Kansas Alumni magazine.