To consolidate operations spread over five downtown locations in Kansas City, Mo., the owners of general-contracting company JE Dunn Construction created a single six-story, 204,000 ft2 (19,000 m2) corporate headquarters and adjacent 780-car parking structure. To maximize efficiency, designers used a variety of specially cast precast concrete insulated architectural wall panels on the building along with a total–precast concrete framing system on the parking structure. The project not only met the client’s programmatic and aesthetic requirements but also achieved LEED gold certification.
The designers wanted to generate a modern-day loft feel for the interiors, with an exposed structure and exterior bearing walls. Hundreds of standard formliner options were considered. The team decided to create custom designs that hid the repetition and seams while providing strong visual depth.
The building features gray architectural precast concrete panels with a linear formliner design at street level. This appearance contrasts with upper levels, which showcase flat panels with white cement and an acid-etch finish. The interior face of these insulated sandwich wall panels was left exposed with an acid-etch finish as well, emphasizing the fundamental nature of the material, which the architect sought.
Vertical lines accentuate vertical window openings and blend with the character of the neighboring buildings. The upper panels were fabricated to be light and smooth, simulating cut limestone in texture and color, which pays homage to the city hall building on the southwest corner of the property.
The project’s decision process was streamlined by having the company serve as developer, owner, and contractor. While those functions were joined, the precast concrete fabrication was expanded by having three precasters work on the project. One provided architectural insulated wall panels; the second fabricated the integrated precast concrete components for the parking structure, and the third provided hollow-core slabs for select areas of the office building.