Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity

Page Tools

Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity | Notes of Interest

Relocating the Kansas City Ballet (KCB) involved preservation and adaptive reuse of the 52,000-square-foot historic Power House at Kansas City’s Union Station, a former coal-burning plant completed in 1914. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, the building sat abandoned from the 1970s until 2006.

Transforming the Power House was a monumental task. Anyone entering the Power House was immediately struck by the massive amounts of steel framing used to support the functional elements of the building’s original purpose—heavy boilers, turbine generators, and coal bunkers—set against a backdrop of soaring ceilings and remnants of the plant’s operational mechanisms and simple efficiency. The project team had the daunting task of turning generator rooms into dance studios, coal bunkers into dressing rooms, and fire pits into usable space, all while adhering to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

The Power House had suffered severe deterioration, however. Over time, chemicals and heat from the coal-burning process, followed by years of exposure to harsh elements, had slowly eaten away at the building. Its rehabilitation included reinforcement of structural elements; replacement of concrete; a new roof; and major repairs to masonry, terra-cotta detailing, and fenestration.

Today, the Bolender Center serves as a home for KCB, a community events venue, and a strong hub for performing arts in the Midwest.

Additional Credit

  • Code Consulting: FSC Inc.
  • Design-Build MEP Contractor: Gibbens Drake Scott, Inc.; Mark One Electrical Company, Inc.; US National Fire Suppression
  • Engiineer - Acoustical: Acoustical Design Group, Inc.
  • Engineer - Civil: Taliaferro and Browne
  • Engineer - Structural: Structural Engineering Associates, Inc.
  • Exhibit Design: Eisterhold Associates Inc.
  • Exhibit Fabricator: Exhibit Associates
  • Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment: Contract Furnishings
  • General Contractor: J.E. Dunn Construction
  • Hardware Consulting: Studio 08 Consultants
  • Landscape Architect: BNIM
  • Theatre Consultant: Harvest Productions Inc.

Photo Credit

    © Farshid Assassi
    © Dan Videtich
    © Mike Sinclair
    © Cody Lovetere
    © Len Fohn

Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity

  • Architect: BNIM
  • Owner: Power House Properties
  • Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Jury Comments

This project was commended for both the interior architecture and for the precedent it sets for the reuse of the country’s industrial building stock.

The planning of the program, in plan and section, was commended, in particular the suspended studios that allow sharing of views and daylight, as was the smokestack space, which is powerful and unexpected.

The design was also commended for the way it inserts an entirely new and different function into the space, clearly defining the new and the old while equally celebrating the character of the original industrial building.

Fantastic repurposing of a historic industrial building.

More about Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture Jury

  • Andrew Wells, FAIA (Chair)
  • Dake Wells Architecture, Springfield, Missouri
  • Susan H. Jones, FAIA
  • Atelierjones, LLC, Seattle
  • Carlos M. Martinez, AIA
  • Gensler, Chicago
  • Ronald J. McCoy, FAIA
  • Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • Catherine M. Truman, AIA
  • Ann Beha Architects, Boston

Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy