The goal for the new performing arts center in Kansas City, Mo was to provide amazing acoustics, great sightlines, and a structure that would inspire visitors in attending a performance. The project team achieved all of these goals and more with the help of architectural precast concrete panels as the building’s distinctive cladding.
The building features two standalone performance halls within a dramatic, overarching shell consisting of a glass roof and glass walls that provide sweeping views of the city. The geometry and architectural design of the project were based on arcs, radii, and cones on both horizontal and vertical planes. There are few 90-degree angles.
Approximately 89,000 ft2 (8,300 m2) of architectural precast concrete panels, in both insulated and solid versions, were cast as complex panels with little repetition. Most of the walls are straight but not parallel to one another. Walls run along a grid line that forms the radius of an arc.
An irregular, elliptical precast concrete entry was designed on the south side to match the floor plate. The panels were cast using a single form by manipulating the work point while rotating the form, using specific portions of the form to cast each individual component. The curved panels were shipped to the jobsite on specially made racks to avoid damage.