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Kansas City Municipal Courthouse – Green Roof

Kansas City Municipal Courthouse – Green Roof

Kansas City, Missouri


A green roof was originally developed conceptually during the master planning of the Kansas City Municipal Courthouse led by SFS. As planned, the green roof would include walking paths, an indoor employee breakroom and kitchenette, and an outdoor covered patio. During Phase II of the master plan, which included a partial renovation of the Courthouse, the roof continued to leak into the newly renovated areas. To address the leaking, the City decided to replace the entire roof and provide a scaled back covered patio and green roof area for employees to gather for certain events or to have lunch, weather permitting.

The original design of the Courthouse roof included a set of sculptural building elements consisting of a curved enclosure housing the elevator machine room and screen walls hiding mechanical units. Because of the steam system now serving the building, the rooftop units were obsolete and removed.

The remaining screen walls were utilized as supports for a trellis to create some shade and a patio area. The patio was extended past the trellis to create a grilling area. The walls were opened on the sides to allow views of the surrounding buildings including direct views of the relief sculptures on City Hall to the west. Between the openings, concrete benches were formed where people sitting on the benches could enjoy the surrounding green roof and vegetation in the planters lining the edges of the green roof.

The trellis is painted steel columns and beams with galvanized metal panels spanning between the beams. The pattern in the screens celebrates the Court’s transition toward technology-driven interactions with the public and a paperless system. The openings in the trellis mirror the size of typical letter-size piece of paper – paper that once inundated the Courthouse and is no longer standard practice. The gravel ballast in earth tone colors help extend the natural environment of the green space in the center of the City.


Civic, Justice