In 2002, HOK Sport Venue Event sought a new location. The growing 9-year-old firm needed more space and a bigger statement than its original brick headquarters could provide.
Both the interior and exterior of the new facility, located in Kansas City’s venerable River Market District, capture the essence of HOK. Rather than showcasing the firm’s history in the world of sports architecture, the building focuses on the possibilities imagined when designers create their own space.
Special Design Feature
The building’s “genus loci,” a 2-story grandstand, suggests a Roman forum. Tiered maple flooring with no hardware or furniture creates an auditorium and staircase. It provides the warm, wooden “heart” of the cool, aluminum-and-glass-clad building. Slitted panels of black walnut line the corridors above, enhancing the effect and aiding acoustics.
Kansas City’s River Market District is filled with stalwart brick buildings. The HOK team took on the challenge of fitting the context of a modern “statement building” into a historic setting. The resulting design’s scale and materials complement the nearby buildings, making a convincing argument that a building crafted from glass and anodized steel can fit harmoniously with its older neighbors.