Gallerie at 27/Gillham

Talk about #DreamHome goals! Gallerie combines the best of both worlds: an exciting streetscape smack between two bustling neighborhoods in Kansas City and awesome resident amenities with enough features to never want to leave. This site’s 53-foot grade was particularly challenging, so we made sure to get extra creative with it, bringing the first blue roof project to Kansas City!

Design Challenge

From the start of the project, great efforts were made to plan the most efficient building footprint on a site with 53 feet of grade fall. Budget concerns early on determined the project would need to be a mix of Type IIIA and VA wood construction with limited areas of concrete podium. With the height and story limitations that come along with these construction types, the massive footprint had 10 stories but they were broken down into six fire areas that stepped across the site and filled every inch of the site permitted by zoning. These challenges were all very solvable for our design team because of previous experience, but they also created our greatest design challenge. With the site maxed out, there were limited options where the underground detention could be located. The courtyards even had grade fall across them, which would require a large amount of excavation and retaining walls, which greatly impacted the budget. The project team reconvened and determined we had to look up and go out of the ground for a unique solution for water retention. A “blue roof” was created on top of the building, where water would be retained for 48-72 hours before being released into the stormwater system. Typically, we try to design the exterior building wrap to get water away from the wood construction as fast as possible, but for this project, we had to detail how to hold the water and coordinate the impacts of the water on the structure.

Physical Context

Sited in between Crown Center to the north and the Union Hill and Longfellow neighborhoods to the south and west, a primary goal of new development was to create active, vibrant streetscapes with engaging public spaces and private courtyards designed to reinforce the project architecture and urban design goals. Providing sidewalks through the project that were accessible to the public would not only connect structures on the site to adjacent buildings but facilitate the pedestrian movement to the surrounding areas. Architecturally, the corners of the building at ground level stepped back to facilitate views and movement through the project. Multiple courtyards were created as the building stepped along the site, which provided private spaces for residents and public spaces for the neighborhood with informal seating, performance spaces, and art features. “The Living Room” courtyard was the focal point for residents and housed the luxury pool whereas the “The Playroom” courtyard incorporates a dog run, and “The Sunroom” courtyard provides a neighborhood overlook allowing for viewing of the street activity for the public.