Bartle Hall Convention Center
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Bartle Hall Convention Center (often referred to as the "Kansas City Convention Center" or simply Bartle Hall) is a major exposition hall in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, USA. It is named for Harold Roe Bartle, a prominent, two-term mayor of Kansas City in the 1950s and early 1960s. Bartle Hall's four tall art deco inspired pylons are a striking fixture in the Kansas City skyline.
Bartle Hall Convention Center is Kansas City's largest complex of multifaceted structures dedicated to meetings and conventions, sports and entertainment. It offers 388,800 square feet (36,120 m2) of column-free exhibit space on one floor, 211,000 square feet (19,600 m2) of tenant finishes, a 200,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) conference center, another 55,000 square feet (5,100 m2) of additional space on two levels, 45 meeting rooms, a 2,400-seat fine arts theater, and an arena that can seat over 10,700 people, along with a 46,450-square-foot (4,300 m2) ballroom that was scheduled for an April 2007 opening, all connected to major downtown hotels and underground parking by glass-enclosed skywalks and below-ground walkways. A unique Convention Center feature is the expansive Barney Allis Plaza, a public square ideal for outdoor receptions, festivals and concerts.
The interior finishes in the public access areas consist of granite flooring and stairs adjacent to Precast Concrete panels at the Main Entry with Carpet Tile in the Ballroom and Pre-functions. The Ballroom and Pre-function areas feature Metal Panels, wood panels, wood veneer and painted gyp wall surfaces as well as Fabric Wall Panels and Sculptured Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) Panels on the interior walls. The Sculptured GFRG Panels create a simulated wave pattern which ties into the water theme of the facility drawing from Kansas City’s origin at the nexus of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. The Grand Ballroom ceilings are finished out in Metal Panel’s bordered at the perimeter walls with Stretched Fabric. The Stretch Fabric ceilings are backlit by a sophisticated LED lighting system that can be programmed to rain the GRGF wall panels in color. The ceiling space also features concentric light fixtures ranging in size for 3’ to 50’ in diameter.
The nonpublic service areas for the project features over 3,000 square feet (300 m2) of Pantry/Kitchen space with 784 square feet (73 m2) of walk-in cooler and freezer space. Additionally there are 2 separate Beverage/Ice Service Rooms for catering personnel to service Ballroom functions. These service areas are sealed concrete and resinous flooring in the Kitchen areas with FRP and MDF veneer wall panels. The service area is accessed by 2 separate covered loading docks that can be accessed from the highway.
The exterior of the facility is highlighted by a 30‘ high metal panel canopy over pavestone walkway at the main entry. This canopy also extends the full length of the East Elevation and is supported by Steel Columns and Fixed Blade Steel Sunshades. The Southern Elevation of the building again features a high canopy with Fixed Blade Sunshades and opens onto a Decorative Concrete Plaza designed by Jun Kaneko, a renowned Japanese ceramic artist. This Plaza is complemented by Architectural Precast Concrete retaining walls, concrete stairs and walkways along with decorative concrete monument light pole bases. The remainder of the site is Greenscape consisting of Sodded open area with some 50,000 Kewensis, Sedum and Vinca Minor plants along with (34) 4” caliper Japanese Pagota and Honey Locust trees.
The expansion of Bartle Hall was a significant technical challenge. Construction of the additional convention space was built over a continuously open six-lane freeway, (Interstate 670), which runs underneath the convention center. Construction required the installation of four, 300-foot (90 m) pylons to support the facility’s roof. The result was the creation of the largest, column-free convention environment in the world. The building also was designed and constructed to meet green building standards and achieved a LEED Silver rating, the first City of Kansas City, Missouri project to receive Silver LEED certification.
The general contractor for the project was Walton Construction. The site team included 2 LEED Accredited Professionals documenting and tracking materials, construction methods, recycling and waste management. Architects were HNTB Architects, BNIM; engineers were Henderson Engineers; and multimedia, acoustics, and IT were by Shen Milsom & Wilke, Chicago.
The total project cost was US$91.7 million, and it was completed on-schedule in July 1994.
Pylons and "Sky Stations"
Bartle Hall crosses above Interstate highway I-670 suspended by steel cables supported by four 335-foot (102 m) high concrete pylons. The pylons are crowned by sculptures designed by artist R.M. Fisher, called "Sky Stations". Each aluminum installation piece is approximately 20 to 25 feet (7.6 m) tall. The pylons and sculptures are dramatically lighted at night.
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