Board of Trade Sculpture
Kansas City, Missouri
Board of Trade Investment Company
Gastinger Walker Harden Architects
Kevin Harden (Principal in Charge), Joel Marquardt
A. Zahner Sheet Metal Co., Kansas City
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. More than wheat, the new sculpture represents the process of harvesting and selling any commodity. It was designed in various textures of copper to change throughout the day and night. Over time, it will change as nature gives it a patina.
The jury found this to be an exceptionally successful piece of urban sculpture and signage. Located on the facade of the parking structure it helped mark an otherwise obscure entrance to the Kansas City Board of Trade. The jury particularly commended the success of this sculpture in both daytime and night. In daytime the composition implied three-dimensional depth through inferred shadow lines that added visual richness while at night the handsomely back lit and silhouetting facade serves as a beacon down the long access of a Kansas city downtown street. The jury felt it would be difficult to envision a more successful solution to this thorny problem.