The recent Kauffman Stadium renovation for the Royals Ballpark in Kansas City was lead by the architects at Populous. Zahner provided an exterior stainless steel facade as well as improvements to the interior experience. The Zahner scope also included the Royals Crown artwork which can be seen atop the ballpark’s digital scoreboard.
The new structure at the Royals stadium features two sections which use selective perforations in stainless steel to create the image of the Royals logo on the surface of the metal. This perforated surface wraps the entire building, yielding a mesh facade which provides light, air control, and an visually intriguing artistic aesthetic.
A pattern of perforations and dimples allows glimpses of the original structure and the emblazoned the Royals’ graphic adds visual delight. Daylight and air transverse the facade, and the result is a breezy atmosphere which anticipates the excitement of the ballpark within.
The details above show the exquisite stainless steel surface, a process Zahner developed for a soft semi-reflective surface known as Angel Hair stainless steel. The detail photos also reveal how the logo is composed of a dimpled and perforated facade. When standing a hundred feet from the facade, these dimples and perforations disappear to the naked eye, becoming the Royals graphic seen above and below.
The Technology Behind the Surface
The pattern which determines the location of perforations and dimples is made using the Zahner-patented ZIRA Process. It allowed the client to choose a picture or graphic. The designers selected the Royals logo, which was then translated into machine language, fabricated, and installed by a team of Zahner engineers and artisans working together to ensure the highest quality result.
Today designers have access to ImageWall, which provides a fast way to upload images and automatically design perforated image metal systems. Many improvements in technology have occurred since this piece was manufactured. One example is the improved parametric relationship and perforation across a panel’s seam. This innovation is called Cross-Seam Perf, and it provides a more seamless aesthetic for perforated metal.