TransformKC is underway in Kansas City, and the dozens of projects on display are provoking discussion on topics from public transit to energy infrastructure. A joint effort between the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance (KCRTA) and the American Institute of Architects Kansas City (AIA KC) Young Architects Forum (YAF), TransformKC curated built and unbuilt work around the topic of “regional mobility” in an attempt to “inspire the public’s imagination.” Explore all of the submissions here. Categories include architecture, infrastructure, planning, transit stations and urban design. The exhibition is on display in the East Hall of Kansas City, Missouri’s Union Station through October 25. Some work is local, like BNIM’s Better Block KC. Part of the 2011 Grand Boulevard Streetscape Plan, Better Block KC “envisions a safe, livable and walkable downtown” that uses complete street concepts. Disclosure: The Architect’s Newspaper is a media sponsor, and AN contributor Gunnar Hand served as the exhibition’s co-chair. Here are a few of the high-profile projects from outside Kansas City: BIG: Loop City Bjarke Ingels Group looks to a new light rail loop connecting 20 development zones around the 4-square-mile inner city of Copenhagen. They propose tying energy and water infrastructure into the rail line, creating “an artery of true urbanity pumping life into the heart of the suburbs.” KPF: Hudson Yards See AN's coverage of Kohn Pedersen Fox’s Hudson Yards towers here. SOM: Denver Union Station Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's plan calls for turning the historic Denver station into a multi-modal transportation network. John Gendall looked into the project for AN's feature on master planning.
Posts tagged with "Kansas City":
Google’s grand experiment on the Great Plains, dubbed “Silicon Prairie” by some, is to revitalize Kansas City with superfast internet. That network hookup could make KC a hotspot for new businesses, too, according to some entrepreneurs eyeing the new “fiberhoods” where the infrastructure exists. Kansas City may not have aspirations to be the next Silicon Valley, but Google’s investment has invigorated the city’s startup culture. On top of efforts to clean up the region’s vacant land and the highly-anticipated return of KC's streetcar, startups are just one reason that Kansas City will be a city to watch.
Kansas City, recently outfitted with superfast internet courtesy of Google, is on the move. And KC taxpayers voted to keep up the momentum this week, authorizing a special taxing district to help fund a downtown streetcar. A transportation development district would cultivate the 2-mile, $101 million route from Union Station to the River Market. The line was shortened by 300 feet after a scramble to make up for $25 million in TIGER grants that the city applied for and was not awarded. Funding for the modified plan came from the Mid-America Regional Council. Now efforts turn to finding an operator. Kansas City will work with the Port Authority to create a Streetcar Authority—a step which has become a hang-up for similar efforts in Detroit. But Wednesday’s vote is a clear signal of public and political support for expanded public transit in the city. KC is also lining up funding for a second phase of streetcar lines, totaling 22 miles of track crisscrossing the city.
The Future of Yesterday: Photographs of Architectural Remains at World's Fairs Nelson-Atkins Museum 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO Through September 9 In conjunction with Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851–1939, the Nelson-Atkins Museum presents the first solo American exhibition of Belgian artist Ives Maes. In contrast to the technological and stylistic innovation showcased in the companion exhibition, Maes provides a study of the lasting artifacts of the world’s fair utopian aspirations. The photographs uncover fair grounds as they stand today, sometimes repurposed but often abandoned or in ruins (such as the site of London’s Crystal Palace, above), juxtaposing the optimism of the architects’ vision with the reality of the present. Co-curator Catherine L. Futter explains, “Ives’ visually compelling images and sculptural presentation lead us to examine the condition, context and activities of the sites in the present, yet evoke the magnificent and progressive ideals of these global events.”
A giant Tetris block has landed in Powell Gardens, a large botanical garden an hour drive outside of Kansas City, Missouri. MIRRORRORRIM, designed and built by Kansas City-based firm 360 Architecture, is a modular stacking of bright, lime green, cedar cubes, forming a T-shape on the ground with a vertical tower rising above the crossing point. The wooden structure is layered over on some sides with perforated stainless steel panels. MIRRORRORRIM is one of several structures in the Fairy Houses and Forts exhibition at Powell Gardens. Following a competition open to architecture firms in the Kansas City area, the winning designs were built for the garden and will be on display through October 7th. As the title of the exhibition suggests, walls of mirrors coating a wooden frame is not just sculpture, it is a playground designed for exploration. Unlike other structures in the exhibit, which have names like Fairy Outpost 8 and Skeleton Island, 360 Architecture took a slightly different approach to a fort, discarding any pirate theme to instead focus on the ability of mirrors to create hidden spaces. The tunnel created by the wooden cubes has a plank floor for those comfortable crawling through the four-foot-high cubes. The vertical element serves as a periscope, using a mirror installed in the highest cube to give those at the bottom of the structure a view from 16 feet off the ground. Perforations in the mirrors serve as peepholes for those hiding inside. Set in a grass field and surrounded by clumps of trees, MIRRORRORRIM blends into its surroundings—the mirrors reflect a green landscape almost indistinguishable from the vistas behind—playing with the observer's perception of landscape. Different elements of the structure—variation in mirrored planes and perforations—together play on the idea of permeability; the structure itself is both a direct and indirect image of the surrounding landscape.
The Sun Pavilion, winner of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's design competition in conjunction with their Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World Fairs, 1851-1939, is now open. Completed in 81 days, the pavilion is an expression of the innovation that reflects the ideals of World's Fairs. Designed by Kansas City, Missouri based architecture firm, Generator Studio, the pavilion includes over 150 solar panels, supplied by local alternative energy firm Brightergy, that act to both power the installation and shade its three cargo container exhibition and interactive spaces. The pavilion looks as if the international space station has landed on earth, and it makes you wonder, do solar panels work when they face the ground?
The Nelson Atkins Museum has just announced that Generator Studio has won the competition to design a temporary pavilion on its grounds. The pavilion will be part of an upcoming exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs 1851-1939, which opens on April 14. Kansas City-based Generator Studio's submission, Sun Pavilion, was developed with L.A. artist Tm Gratkowski, Brightenergy, Prosser Wilbert Construction, and Thorton Tomasetti. Powered by solar panels, the opened sided pavilion will allow exhibition programming to spill outside the walls of the museum. Generator Studio bested four other competitors: Hufft Projects, AECOM, Echomaterico, and el dorado inc. with DESIGN+MAKE. The winning team and finalists will present their proposals on March 1 at 7:45 pm during a PechaKucha night at the museum.
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Custom canopy scores big at Kansas City’s new soccer stadium.Kansas City’s Livestrong Sporting Park opened in June as the city’s first soccer-centric stadium and the new home of the Sporting Kansas City, the soccer team formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards. To make the arena both athlete- and fan-friendly, architect Populous envisioned a soaring roof canopy designed to evoke the arc of a soccer ball flying across the field. The team considered building the canopy with ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) pillows, but desired a look more in line with glass panels. The weight of glass would have significantly increased the amount of steel substructure, in turn raising the canopy’s price. Working with Michigan-based architectural canopy design, engineering, and fabrication company Duo-Gard, the team began instead to develop a high-performance polycarbonate glazing system that minimized weight and maximized light transmission onto the field. In addition to its impact-resistance and long-span structural requirements, the canopy had to meet several programmatic demands. The architects wanted to create an intimate environment that would amplify the crowd’s noise, so the canopy had to cover every seat. While it would provide some shade for the audience, the structure also had to have enough light transmittance to maintain the natural grass preferred by Major League Soccer. The polycarbonate canopy would curve around the more than 1,800-foot stadium circumference, ranging from 25 to 70 feet in depth with a 1/12 pitch and 12-foot spans between structural members. “This kind of span hadn’t been done before by anyone with polycarbonate at a slight slope,” said Duo-Gard president David Miller. “Our engineers broke ground with this.” More than 100 feet above the ground, the stadium’s steel structure cantilevers 95 feet and supports a metal deck that transitions to the two-tiered clear polycarbonate deck, which is built with a 36-inch step-down to form a cavity for lighting and sound equipment. The 25mm triple-wall polycarbonate glazing allows 80 percent light transmission and integrates Duo-Gard’s 3 ½-inch aluminum profile at 32 inches on center to minimize shading. The framing system incorporates a custom engineered base plate, pressure plate, and curved cap that conceals canopy fasteners. According to Frank Kosciolek, Duo-Gard’s engineering manager, typical canopy systems have a 7-inch profile at 24 inches on center, creating more shadows and requiring an additional steel purlin. The team estimated that elimination of the extra purlin resulted in a 35 percent reduction in the amount of metal used. The system also met one and a half times of its structural loading requirements during testing. As home to the largest polycarbonate stadium canopy in North America, Kansas City’s sports scene is enjoying its moment in the sun.
Last month rumblings started going around the leafy Armour Hills neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri. "Those hippies are up to something," exclaimed one the area's more conservative residents. Local artist Pete Cowdin, who goes by the pseudonym A. Bitterman, has created a unique outdoor experience in his front and back yards. Entitled Point of Interest, the installation takes the property of the single-family home, and transforms it into a "national park." The installation is an interesting critique of how society views nature as somewhere outside of the built environment. "We confuse Nature for the natural world, and this has generated a kind of madness," Cowdin said. The "park" is complete with a trail, sightseeing vistas, picnic tables, wildlife preserve and a grand sign and information kiosk. The kiosk includes sound, video, and the usual text and images. However, this somewhat esoteric interactive kiosk is art masked in information. Backcountry (back yard) permits are required to view the "Tree House Ruins," "Untended Garden of Regret," and "Secret Tea Party Bush." The project was funded by a grant from the Charlotte Street Foundation, the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. To discover more about the installation, you can visit the site Monday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to dusk at 14 W. 66th Street, Kansas City, MO through July 30. The exhibit is closed Sundays, holidays, and rainy days.