Case Study

Downtown Skyscraper Shines Bright Again Following Modernization

Holistic building renovation strategies that use simple, cost-effective materials with durability and timelessness in mind can add a sense of beauty and new life to a dated space, changing how it is perceived, which was the case for an iconic building in Kansas City.


Challenge

Downtown Kansas City, Missouri, is a bustling business and cultural hub with more than 123,000 people working in the area. To reflect the vitality felt in the heart of downtown, real estate firm Copaken Brooks LLC, decided to renovate the area’s historic Town Pavilion. The challenge was to revamp the inside of the outdated building so that it would match the undeniable energy of the surrounding community, including the nearby Crossroads, Crown Center and Power & Light entertainment/shopping districts.

Town Pavilion, a 38-story skyscraper, which is home to more than 1.2 million square feet of office and retail space, is Kansas City's largest multitenant office building and the second tallest. The space accommodates any size tenant ranging from companies who need as little as 1,300 square feet up to those needing a full floor, which can be as much as 54,500 square feet.

The directive for the space was to modernize it by using inventive upgrades that create a one-of-a-kind experience for employers, employees and visitors. The goal of the renovation was to position Town Pavilion as the place to be for the next generation of central business district office users.

Solution

Spanning multiple project delivery phases, restoring Town Pavilion's legacy as the premier Class A downtown office was a lofty feat.

The project required a mix of facility demolition, renovation and redevelopment, and new construction. Burns & McDonnell was the designer of record for the $4 million modernization.

The project included a renovation that transformed the structure’s three-story rotunda, first-level lobby and common areas. Enhancements to the rotunda included the addition of a concierge center, upgrades to storefronts, installation of art-driven video walls and displays of museum-quality artwork.

 

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Solution

Spanning multiple project delivery phases, restoring Town Pavilion's legacy as the premier Class A downtown office was a lofty feat.

The project required a mix of facility demolition, renovation and redevelopment, and new construction. Burns & McDonnell was the designer of record for the $4 million modernization.

The project included a renovation that transformed the structure’s three-story rotunda, first-level lobby and common areas. Enhancements to the rotunda included the addition of a concierge center, upgrades to storefronts, installation of art-driven video walls and displays of museum-quality artwork.

Town Pavilion opened in 1986 as a regional headquarters for AT&T Inc., and the interior of the building reflected the original ‘80s aesthetic. One of the project’s key challenges was updating the interior’s dark and out-of-date look to be warmer and more inviting.

To lighten the space, new finishes were used that are more aligned with a modern-day office setting. Polished light concrete floors, exposed concrete, curved bright white walls, and natural oak and walnut wood finishes are included in the design, allowing light to bounce off surfaces and reflect playfully throughout the LED-lit space. New wood and steel grand staircases — with stairs longer and wider than normal and designed more like ramps — replaced the escalators on both sides of the rotunda. The addition of the two staircases allows for a refreshed interaction with the space and introduced new seating options for employees and visitors.

In addition to these improvements, security turnstiles with a visitor management system were installed to make the space more secure and elevate it beyond existing Class A office standards. It is the first multitenant facility in downtown Kansas City to have such a feature.

As is typical for older buildings, once demolition began the design team encountered a surprise not shown on the handmade drawings of the original space. A steel, structural beam that supported the old grand staircase was found exactly where designers were now planning to build a large concierge center. Adept at having to change plans on the fly, the Burns & McDonnell design team incorporated the large, immovable beam into the concierge center design by encasing it in attractive wood finishings and surrounding the now-hidden beam with eye-catching foliage.

A large monitor stationed behind the high-tech security center is used to display attention-grabbing artwork and welcome guests. Redundant electrical power and in-floor voice, power and data raceways are also built in, available and ready to use.

The technologically advanced infrastructure and lively atmosphere of Town Pavilion combine with unequaled beauty and unsurpassed convenience for a dynamic, unique and practical setting.

Results

As was the goal, the space was modernized in a way that embraces downtown’s vibrancy. The building’s lobby and common areas create a high-end, modernized oasis designed around community and connectivity.

Our team designed the building so that it reflects a distinctive blend of relaxed comfort and architectural sophistication. This entailed creating a simple-yet-smart look reliant on future-focused upgrades; rich, warm materials; large expanses of glass and new edges; and forms and shapes that announce something new and exciting has arrived.

The project was completed on time and within budget and has changed perceptions about the iconic structure. The inviting, newly renovated space is often cited as a draw by the building’s occupants, whether they're new tenants or existing ones who’ve chosen to renew long-term leases.

  • An upscale renovation of the iconic Town Pavilion in Kansas City, Missouri, has helped return the structure to its previous splendor, enabling it to reflect the vitality of a bustling downtown.

  • An upscale renovation of the iconic Town Pavilion in Kansas City, Missouri, has helped return the structure to its previous splendor, enabling it to reflect the vitality of a bustling downtown.

  • An upscale renovation of the iconic Town Pavilion in Kansas City, Missouri, has helped return the structure to its previous splendor, enabling it to reflect the vitality of a bustling downtown.

  • An upscale renovation of the iconic Town Pavilion in Kansas City, Missouri, has helped return the structure to its previous splendor, enabling it to reflect the vitality of a bustling downtown.

  • An upscale renovation of the iconic Town Pavilion in Kansas City, Missouri, has helped return the structure to its previous splendor, enabling it to reflect the vitality of a bustling downtown.


Project Stats


Client

Copaken Brooks LLC

Location

Kansas City, Missouri