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UNION STATION

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, USA (1986)


The planned reuse of Union Station attempts to preserve an historical building by making it a vital part of the community, both in its urban presence and its economic contribution. In the course of prior urban expansion, building and landscape were severed. The key element of this design is the reconnection of Union Station to the magnificent green carpet of Liberty Park. The park continues into the former station's vast public areas, converting them into winter gardens. The Grand Hall once the station's waiting room becomes a botanical conservatory, illuminated and warmed by winter sunlight pouring through the south facing windows. Its use as a winter garden drastically reduces heating and cooling costs, making the space an economic asset rather than a liability. Open to the conventionally cooled and heated wings, the conservatory's temperature would be moderated by the continuous influx of conditioned air filtering from the side wings. Rather than obscuring the hall's elegant architecture, the conservatory is located in a series of terraces set within a 'quarry' which step down deep into the floor of the high space. The main hall thus becomes a connecting focus between the wings of the building which house various cultural facilities museums and theaters while supporting a grotto and an additional winter garden on the upper level.



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