Kansas City Star Media and Technology Center
Kansas City, MO, United States
Newspapers are typically considered to be extensions of the community. Newspaper buildings, by their very nature, are not. The Kansas City Star Media and Technology building represents the design challenges of creating an “industrial” building that would have a civic presence and be a catalyst for the downtown, the central business district, and the crossroads area. The Star building reflects an unwavering belief that a technology building can make a difference in a community, and in fact, it has.
Our challenge was to implement an industrial building typology from into an urban core, which, up until now, had not been done. From the onset, we recognized that this project would have to break the stereotype associated with industrial buildings and the design-build process. The design of any new building in a downtown, urban area piques public interest and commentary. The fact that this new “industrial design-build” building would reside in the heart of downtown indicated that public opinion would be magnified. Our strategy was to create a building that is bold enough to say that it is about industry and design. Conventional barriers of solid walls have been stripped away and replaced with glass. Manufacturing components are strategically located to highlight the areas of greatest activity and diminish the mundane.
There are those who attribute downtown Kansas City’s current renaissance to the Media and Technology Center building. History will be the ultimate judge, however, prior to the Star building, there was no Sprint Arena, nor Performing Arts Center. What we are certain of, is that our design provided downtown Kansas City with an adrenaline rush it was desperately in need of.