BNIM Adaptive Reuse


Steve McDowell


The relocation of Kansas City Ballet (KCB) involved careful preservation and adaptive reuse of the 52,000-square-foot historic Power House at Kansas City’s Union Station, a former coal-burning plant designed by Jarvis Hunt and completed in 1914. Power chronicles the award-winning preservation and transformation of this historic facility, outlining the many constraints and opportunities the project team met along the way.


9 x 9"
Trade Paper
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Introduction by Marlon Blackwell



Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004, the building sat abandoned from the 1970s until 2006. Rehabilitation of the building, adhering to The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, included reinforcement to the building’s structural elements, replacement of concrete, a new roof, and major repairs to masonry, terra cotta detailing and fenestration.

In the year following its grand opening, the building was recognized with more than a dozen awards for excellence in design and preservation, including a prestigious National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects, and the Project of the Year Award from the International Concrete Restoration Institute.

About the author: 

As BNIM’s director of design, Steve McDowell is an innovator, exploring ideas related to site, environment and technical investigation. Steve’s work is setting new standards in high performance design focused on people–their health, productivity and lifting the human spirit through design.

Steve and his work have been recognized with more than 300 awards for design excellence and industry leadership. Among others, his awards include the prestigious National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, National AIA Honor Awards, Top Ten Green Project Awards from AIA’s Committee on the Environment and the AIA National Firm Award, the industry’s highest honor bestowed on architectural firms in the U.S.

Marlon Blackwell, FAIA, is a practicing architect in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and serves as Distinguished Professor and Department Head in the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas. Working outside the architectural mainstream, his architecture is based in design strategies that draw upon vernaculars and the contradictions of place; strategies that seek to transgress conventional boundaries for architecture.  Work produced in his professional office, Marlon Blackwell Architect, has received national and international recognition with numerous design awards and significant publication in books, architectural journals and magazines. Blackwell received the 2012 Architecture Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. A monograph of his early work, An Architecture of the Ozarks: The Works of Marlon Blackwell, was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2005. He was selected by The International Design Magazine, in 2006, as one of the ID Forty: Undersung Heroes and as an “Emerging Voice” in 1998 by the Architectural League of New York. He received his undergraduate degree from Auburn University (1980) and a M. Arch II degree from Syracuse University in Florence, Italy (1991).