This transformation of the former Power House at Kansas City’s Union Station into a new home for the Kansas City Ballet epitomizes successful adaptive use of a problematic industrial building. The 52,000-square-foot former coal-burning plant, built in 1914 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, required major reinforcement because chemicals and heat from the building’s industrial heyday had deteriorated structural elements. Generator rooms became dance studios, coal bunkers found new life as dressing rooms, and fire pits became usable common space, all while adhering to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
Jury: “This project was commended for both the interior architecture and for the precedent it sets for the reuse of the country’s industrial building stock.”
Client: “The interior of the space is well designed to meet the ballet’s mission, has been a major force in increased enrollment in our school, and has made our company much more competitive in attracting the highest-level talent from around the globe. The facility has already been called one of the most beautiful centers for dance in the world by the president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. And rightly so.” —Jeff Bentley, executive director, Kansas City Ballet
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