Samantha Anderson, Emily Baize, Amy Finnerty, Alex Miller, and Dan Nixon
The Stockyards District is a unique site defined by the Kansas River to the west, the Bluff on the east, and Interstate 670 to the north. However, perhaps more than these boundaries, the history is what defines the space. The stock and rail yards dominated the site for nearly a century providing Kansas City with economic vitality. As these structures began to disappear over time, the scale of the stock and rail yards remains understood by the sprawling areas of vacant land left in their wake. The site is also characterized by a loosely developed urban fabric where Kemper Arena sits as a terminus, not only for the stockyards district, but for the entire West Bottoms.
In order to give purpose to the vacant land, it is not completed with traditional city infill. Instead the land can be reclaimed as a land reserve, or space given back to the city making the southern district a regional destination and an amenity to Kansas City. The open space will be activated by seasonal uses common to this area, as well as x-urban amenities that we are returning to the city center. The first element of our design was built around reclaiming the Kansas Riverfront as a regional amenity through recreation and the return of x-urban program. We are also reclaiming residual infrastructure space and devoting it to new infrastructural purposes such as water management and energy harvesting. Kemper Arena becomes the gateway acting on a regional as well as a local level by becoming a link to riverfront development.
The Kansas River and the adjacent riverfront land, Kemper Arena, and the growing urban area ground the Stockyards Distrcit as a potential regional destination for the city.
The Stockyards District: Final Plan
Structured on a framework built around the Riverfront Soccer Complex, Kemper Arena, and the Urban Center, the Stockyards District's final plan creates clarity and cohesion in a large, sprawling region of the West Bottoms.
The Riverfront Recreational Center
The riverfront is currently absent of development. Through the creation of a soccer complex the vacant land directly adjacent to the river becomes a functioning part of the city, and provides opportunity for the river itself to become activated.
The existing riverfront condition.
The soccer complex and levee trail (left). Pedestrian bridges link the soccer fields on either side of the river and the dock brings pedestrians down to the water (right).
The riverfront trail extends down the levee and water's edge (left) and is joined by an ampitheater and extended into the river by a dock (right).
A study of the soccer complex's topography (click to enlarge).
Kemper Arena is a regional amenity for the city. However its connection and purpose within the urban environment need to be strengthened. To achieve this, Kemper is being repurposed as an outdoor amphitheater to become a unique venue in Kansas City.
View from the riverfront looking East
To the West, a bridge and drop-off area link Kemper to the riverfront. To the East, a public plaza is framed by Kemper, the American Royal, and garages, using urban edges to form a terminus to the N-S street grid.
Section through the riverfront, Kemper Arena, and the American Royal Garages/Practice fields.
Adjustments made to the street grid work with infill to form the terminus at the Kemper Arena plaza (click image to enlarge).
Inside Kemper Arena looking East
Kemper Plaza looking West
Lit Plaza Structures
Plaza structures are based on the tent sizes of the American Royal Barbeque and can hold plants, solar panels, or a.v. display equipment.
The Urban Center
The Urban Land Reserve strategy uses plantings to remediate brownfields, capture water runoff, and shape the open space into a cohesive system of public space.
Street sections of 16th St., Genessee St., and Wyoming St.
Water Management Strategy (click image to enlarge)
Public space formed by remediation plantings