The Kansas City Board of Trade wanted to re-establish a sense of identity to its primary building approach, the focal point of which was an anonymous, vine-covered parking structure. The north facade was redesigned by cutting new openings and placing a sign at the top to create visual direction and movement. A smooth surface was built in the center to provide a clean backdrop for a piece of artwork. The charge was to create a piece that symbolized the past, present and future of the Board of Trade and reflect the Mid-West region.
A heavily wooded, sloped site hid Cerner's campus from passersby; lack of signage presented wayfinding problems. The challenge was to create not just a sign that announced the home of Cerner, but an "identity structure" that would become an important landmark within the city.
In 2002, the Liberty Memorial Associated charged Ralph Appelbaum Associates with creating a museum that, like the memorial itself, would honor those who served in World War I in defense of liberty and country. The new National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO, chronicles one of the nation's central epics, one that brought the United States onto the world stage.
These well-known books on the parking garage have become some of the most recognizable and widely discussed additions to Kansas City's redeveloping core. The people of Kansas City were asked to help pick the titles of the books in order to truly represent their city. When first asked to design this project, Dimensional Innovations was asked to create a small graphic panel on the center of the book spines. When the vision grew to giant books, the challenge was to reproduce the books in a realistic way and within a set budget.