The 62,000 ft² Kirk Family YMCA is an adaptive reuse project in downtown Kansas City, Mo., that transformed a theater built in 1926 into an urban health and fitness center. The owner of the structure wanted the new center to meet a variety of health and wellness needs for the community while preserving the theater’s historic look and feel, including its iconic facade on the south elevation of the facility. The combination of structural and aesthetic goals made architectural and structural precast concrete the ideal material for the project.
Two PCI-certified producers, who normally compete in the market, partnered to bring this project to fruition. One provided the architectural precast concrete envelope, and the other provided the internal structural components. The precast concrete producers worked closely with the designer, contractor, and owner to set expectations for reconstruction of the historic west facade, and careful restoration and preservation of the remaining south edifice.
Energy, carbon, and water savings
To maintain the original streetscape massing and historic character of the architecture, the designers decided to have structural gray precast concrete panels installed on the west elevation and then faced with natural stone. This reconstructed facade is delineated from the historic one but blends seamlessly with the existing fabric, providing an aesthetic that satisfies the owner and the community.
The newer north and east elevations were designed with modern facades, using 18,106 ft2 of white- and charcoal-colored architectural precast concrete cladding and insulated panels with an acid-etched finish. These facades are highlighted by a distinguishing series of protruding architectural concrete precast fins to symbolize how this older facility will have a new purpose and relevance for decades to come.
Structural precast concrete components, including columns, beams, and hollow-core pieces, were used to build out the footprint of the new building and to accommodate all of the desired spaces.
The fitness center’s design also features numerous sustainable design strategies that focus on resiliency though energy, carbon, and water savings, as well as human health and well-being. Envelope enhancements include glazing improvements, insulation, air sealing of the existing facade, window improvements, and creation of capacity for future renewable energy sources.
All stormwater is stored on site, with capacity for a 72-hour period of stormwater storage beneath the outdoor futsal field. The design also features soaring two-story windows that flood the space with natural light. These windows are accented with custom architectural precast concrete fins.
The new center successfully retains much of the original character of the 1926 building while bringing a new purpose to the spaces and benefiting the surrounding community.