KCPL Canopy and Facades

The Power & Light Entertainment District in downtown Kansas City, Missouri is home to three Structurflex projects: the KC Live! Roof, Elements Courtyard canopy, and the P&L District towers facade.

For the the roof over the outdoor KC Live! entertainment venue, Structurflex designed and developed the first single-layer ETFE tension membrane structure in North America. The ETFE film over a structural steel frame provides 30,000 sqft of shelter from the elements and low-level shading to offset the high temperatures and direct sun native to the region. A silver frit applied at the factory to the underside of the membrane improves UV screening and reduces solar gain; at night, a high-tech LED light system plays off the frit to create visual interest onsite as well as in the larger skyline.

As part of the publicly funded Power & Light entertainment district in downtown Kansas City, the project needed to both adhere to a strictly controlled budget and comply with stringent environmental sustainability policies. The ETFE tension roof required 35% less steel than a conventional metal roof, resulting in considerable savings in both raw materials and in transportation and storage costs. The total system costs for the single-layer ETFE structure were approximately 50% of the costs for a glass roof and, unlike glass, made the venue more hospitable by reducing heat and solar gain. The entire system was designed so that it could be fabricated off-site, which also reduced the environmental impact as well as the construction impact on local businesses.

Elements is a piazza-style lounge with a natural wooded theme that includes a water feature, Brazilian pine deck and birch trees. While fresh air is part of the theme, an overhead shelter was essential to protect patrons from weather extremes. Structurflex worked with the architect to design a canopy that defines the mood of the space. The end result is a perfectly stretched, coated PES tension membrane that looks like it was strung between the nearest trees, and is tough enough to resist the severe winds and snow falls that punctuate Kansas City weather. A south yellow pine laminated timber beam is a primary structural element, assisted by stainless steel cables and precisely-fabricated structural steel.

The Power & Light towers are located at various places throughout the Power & Light District. The top story of each tower is clad with the same ETFE materials as the KC Live! canopy. The top story glows at night with LED backlighting and gives the P&L District one more distinctive feature.

Related Blog Posts
“KC Live! Entertainment District Gets an ETFE Roof”

“KC Live! Becomes Party Central for World Cup soccer fans”

“Award of Excellence: Commercial Canopies”

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

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KC Live!: 2,787 m2/30,000 ft2;Elements: 60 m2/650 ft2


360 Architects (HOK)

The Cordish Companies


IAA Award of Excellence – Commercial Canopies – 2008

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