As designers and curators of space, sometimes it takes time for our vision and intent to be fully realized in the built environment. This can happen because the resources required to execute the vision aren’t available, or it could be that the stakeholders we originally sold on the design are no longer in place. Unfortunately at times our vision isn’t fully realized because we didn’t clearly communicate our intent loud enough so that those that need to hear it get it. As we take this moment to recognize projects from our past and present we think Crosstown Substation completed in 2013 warrants a mention as one of the most underutilized and unrecognized projects in Kansas City.
Pendulum was presented with the challenge of creating an architectural buffer between pedestrian traffic and high voltage electrical equipment that occupies an entire city block at the intersection of 18th Street and Holmes in the Crossroads District of Kansas City, MO. Our solution ornamentally wrapped Zahner Solanum Weathering Steel around white concrete panels designed to display projected still and motion video (see image of full size mock up below). A kinetic display of light was designed by artist Jim Woodfill to interact with the patterned weathering steel to create splashes of color and programmed motion.
Although the static white painted concrete panels that surround the substation survived several years without significant graffiti, sadly due to low traffic and the absence of curated projected art, we’ve seen an increase of vandalism over the past two years. As we transition from winter to spring and the kick off of First Fridays in the Crossroads we’d love to see the substation utilized to its full potential and as intended. Our vision for Crosstown Substation is a hub of pedestrian activity, a backdrop for local digital art, films, fashion shows, automotive gatherings, community events, cultural gatherings, concerts, etc. The videos included in this blog represent a small cross section of what can be, hopefully a planted seed that one day blossoms into something much larger. Stay tuned…this could be good!
For a virtual tour of our design click the link: Crosstown Substation Tour