Kansas City has a rich architectural history, from the art deco stylings of its Power & Light Building downtown, to the contemporary art centers, museums, and stadiums which define our current era. Earlier this year, we put together a world map of Zahner projects. After populating the map (and there’s still more projects to add), we realized that there are quite a few architectural projects worth talking about in Kansas City.
Below we’ve highlighted some of the best examples architectural facades, roofs, enclosures, canopies, and even some artworks that we’ve engineered and fabricated across the Kansas City architectural landscape.
1. Bartle Hall Sky Stations
Perhaps one of the most exciting installations of a fabricated artwork in Kansas City, the Bartle Hall Sky Stations by R.M Fischer were installed by Zahner two decades ago using a Sikorsky helicopter. Last year, Zahner was selected to provide maintenance to the sculptures, giving the team a close look at the pieces. The fabricated aluminum and stainless steel artworks are in good shape, even after many years of exposure to the elements.
2. Power & Light Utility Bridge
Designed by Helix Architecture + Design, the Power and Light Utility Bridge is a hidden architectural treasure in Kansas City. Zahner provided the perforated and bumped blackened zinc surface with a custom repeating indentation. The bridge’s hollow form contains both a utility power supply to the downtown area, as well as an undulating dynamically timed lighting system.
3. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
By the time the Kauffman Center was completed in 2011, Moshe Safdie’s design for the Kauffman Center was already a landmark architectural icon in the downtown Kansas City landscape. The design was created by Safdie Architects, with BNIM serving as the local architect of record. Zahner designed and manufactured its metal facade and roof as part of the building envelope.
4. Independence Temple
Designed by Gyo Obata of HOK Architects, Independence Temple is the headquarters for the Community of Christ, and its location was supposedly inspired by the Church’s texts. According to lore, the second coming of their Christ will occur just across the street from the new temple. During its construction, Zahner reportedly* asked the Bishops — “Why not put the building on the exact location?” to which they replied, “Well, when he comes and sees this place across the street … he’ll want to come see what’s going on!”
Update: The Community of Christ Church reached out to Zahner to mention that this is in fact a local myth. Neither the Community of Christ nor its scripture contain any references to the latitude, longitude, or even the general location of the second coming.
5. Nerman Museum Canopy Artwork
Microcosm is a permanent installation for the Nerman Museum of Art. The Museum was designed by Kyu Sung Woo, and the architects brought Leo Villareal into the design process to create this morphing display of lights on the building’s canopy. Zahner was responsible for several architectural metal aspects throughout the Museum, but perhaps the most intriguing aspect was the permanent artwork underneath the Northeast entrance.
6. Charles Evans Whittaker U.S. Courthouse
If you see a project with architectural metal, and its in Kansas City, there’s a good chance that Zahner was involved. The Kansas City Federal Courthouse is located on the North end of downtown Kansas City, and features a curved stainless steel roof. The Charles Evans Whittaker U.S. District Courthouse was designed by AECOM and construction managed by JE Dunn.
7. Windmoor Center and Chapel of St. Joseph St. Teresa’s Academy
Located just at the South end of campus at 57th and Main Street, this Gould Evans-designed addition to St. Teresa’s Academy features a white custom water jet cut facade, a hidden gem in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City. The pattern is a nod to the school’s original founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Gould Evans reinterpreted this design as a painted aluminum metal veil that shrouds the outside of the structure and evokes the school’s namesake, St. Teresa, the Patron Saint of Lacemakers.
8. Kansas City Star Building
Nearly 5000 green patinated skins cover the new building’s facade for The Kansas City Star Building. Completed several years prior to the Kauffman Center, it has a similar presence on the south side of I-670, and also features prominently in the downtown Kansas City landscape. Zahner produced the antiqued natural copper metal panel system, which wraps all four sides of the building.
9. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
In addition to new construction, Zahner is equally known for its renovation work on major projects in Kansas City as well as across the country. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is located on the west end of downtown Kansas City, and features a 23-carat gold leaf cladding, which Zahner restored in the early 2000’s. In addition to the roof, Zahner worked on the interior gated artwork within Kansas City Cathedral.
10. Kansas City Royals Crown & Stadium Facade
The renovated Kauffman Stadium for the Kansas City Royals was completed in time for the Royal’s first World Series in nearly thirty years. The Stadium improvements were designed by local architecture firm Populous, and included major features completed by Zahner. Two perforated facades are emblazoned with the team’s logo, and the Royals Crown atop the megascreen and scoreboard was produced using Zahner’s ZEPPS® Technology and clad in a bumped interference stainless steel.
11. Cerner Headquarters Sculpture & Signage
Drivers along the Armour Road 210 Hwy in North Kansas City have surely seen this perforated stainless steel lighting display which serves as a beacon and signage for the Cerner Headquarters. Designed by Gould Evans, the sculpture features a custom die-punch pattern of “1’s” and “0’s” to represent the Company’s technology system for the healthcare industry.
12. Starlight Theater
The Starlight Theatre is a Kansas City fixture for its outdoor performances from spring to fall, and is one of only two other self-producing outdoor theaters in the United States. When the Starlight Theater renovated its facade, Zahner provided its copper roof, installed as a mill-finish red copper. Zahner also completed the Theater’s donor’s circle, a ceiling artwork by Dierk Van Keppel.
13. Winds of Aphrodite
The renovation of the Bartle Hall Loading Dock is when we first began working with the architect who would years later go on to design our factory’s expansion (see below). Crawford Architects worked with artist Suikang Zhao to completely reimagine the Bartle Hall Loading Dock and upgrade its aesthetic with an artistic facade by Zahner.
14. Zahner Headquarters and North Dock Expansion
The headquarters for A. Zahner Company was designed by Crawford Architects, the same team that did the Winds of Aphrodite for Bartle Hall (#12 on this list). The collaborative design introduced the CloudWall custom architectural fin system, which allows any designer to create their own fin-based facade using drag-and-drop tools online for free.
More Art & Architecture in Kansas City
This is just a short list of some of our favorite projects, and there are many more inspiring examples of Kansas City architecture completed with Zahner engineering and manufacturing — the number is in the thousands!
To see more projects in Kansas City featuring Zahner craft, visit the Zahner Kansas City profile page. In addition to architecture, the page will also include examples of Kansas City public artworks, engineered and fabricated by A. Zahner Company.