A tensile structure at the Bartle Hall Convention Center disguises an otherwise highly visible rear loading dock. Situated prominently in downtown Kansas City, the convention center’s loading dock could easily be seen from both the street and overhead, including from surrounding hotels, condominiums, and offices.

Following the modern industrial aesthetic of the convention center itself, a gridded structural configuration was designed to shield the dock from view without encasing it. Forty-three shade sails made from Ferrari Soltis outdoor fabric create an “egg crate” effect in which light and air are able to flow freely throughout the space. A total surface area of 24,000 square feet disguises the loading dock, provides shade, and creates a reflective surface that helps to illuminate the space after dark.

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Kansas City, Missouri, USA



2,229M2 / 24,000FT2


Crawford Architects / Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Facilities

Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Facilities

An exhibition hall that enhances the neighborhood

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