The existing Town of Kansas pedestrian bridge in Kansas City, Missouri received some enhancements to the positive experience it currently enjoys. Kansas City as we know it today originated as the “Town of Kansas” when Lewis and Clark first stopped here while traversing the Missouri River and is the beginning of the cities Main Street.
The program called for a rain garden to address watershed issues, sculptural seating, security bollard, signage and a bicycle “u-rail”. What originated as predominately an engineering challenge became a design opportunity for the design team lead by KEM STUDIO architecture + industrial design.
The big idea was to create a gathering/lounge space that identifies the beginning of the Town of Kansas bridge and leads you to the riverfront trail. It is an integration of landscape and built form that tells a symbolic story about the context and origin of this place while addressing the functional issue of the watershed condition. A custom bicycle “u-rail” allows cyclists to navigate 4 flights of stairs and continue riding the trail connecting the river to the city. In response to the immediate context of the rivers, trails, industrial steel structures, the concept utilizes notions of convergence, conveying, paths and discovery.