2012 Annual Design Review
More than just another city street, Troost Avenue is the racial and economic dividing line of Kansas City, Mo. So when it came time to replace the 150-foot-long bridge spanning Brush Creek, the city and the Kansas City Area Transit Authority turned to El Dorado. Along with local lighting designer Derek Porter, the firm created a pedestrian experience—part infrastructure, part public art—that connects the communities on either side of the waterway.
By enhancing the barrier that separates cars from people, the team was able to break down the barrier between people and the surrounding site. To that end, the architects lined the perimeter of the bridge with 10-foot-tall, five-ply laminated glass panels—held in place by embedded stainless steel hardware and compression clamp plates—enclosing an 8-foot-wide poured-in-place sidewalk on the western edge, and a 10-foot-wide walkway to the east. Animating the experience, convex reflective stainless steel panels are affixed at ground level to heavy concrete dividing walls that separate these pedestrian zones from the central traffic lanes and create a fun-house mirror effect, which bus passengers see reflected in the glass panels from their elevated seats. Embedded linear LEDs provide pedestrian lighting—their effect amplified by the glass and steel panels at night.
“A remarkably subtle job for this big hunk of infrastructure. You could pass by this and could see this multiple times, and see something different each time.” —G. Martin Moeller Jr.