Louis I. Kahn. Kansas City Office Building, project, Kansas City, Missouri, Perspective. 1972

Louis I. Kahn Kansas City Office Building, project, Kansas City, Missouri, Perspective 1972

  • Not on view

In 1966 Kansas City developers approached Kahn to design what they hoped would become a new signature building for their city. The proposed office tower was to include underground parking, street-level shopping, a health club and restaurant on upper floors, and even a heliport on its roof. Square columns positioned at the building's four outer corners would support a multistory truss at the top of the building (an elegant inverted arch), from which the intermediate floors would be suspended. Kahn devised an unconventional construction scheme for the project: the four corner columns and the truss would be erected first, after which the concrete floor slabs would be poured, starting from the top. This drawing shows the building under construction, illustrating Kahn's radical proposal to build from the top down, a highly innovative assembly method that proved to be too advanced for its time; his clients were never able to secure funding for the building.

Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.
Charcoal on yellow tracing paper
52 3/4 x 31 1/4" (134 x 79.4 cm)
Gift of Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown
Object number
© 2021 Estate of Louis I. Kahn
Architecture and Design

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