Cable-Stayed Convention Center

by Benjamin J. Biller, (M.ASCE), Project Engr.; HNTB, Kansas City, MO,
Robert Setterburg, Design Architect; HNTB, Kansas City, MO,
Cary C. Goodman, Consultant; HNTB, Kansas City, MO,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1993, Vol. 63, Issue 2, Pg. 40-43

Document Type: Feature article


Big convention center brings big money. For that reason, officials in Kansas City, Mo. hoped to double the size of the Bartle Hall Convention Center. Little available land, however, surrounded the center. Air rights over the city's Crosstown Freeway provided the answer. The expansion, currently under construction will provide an additional 670,000 sq ft of space by bridging the freeway. This solution will create a landmark structure on the city's skyline with a dramatic cable-stayed roof. City officials, under the direction of city architect Tom Bean, selected a team led by Howard Needles Tammen & Bergendoff (HNTB), Kansas City, for the project. A feasibility study, with extensive use of computer modeling, led to selection of the cable-stayed roof system to span the freeway. This structure type is best for two reasons: 1) The cable-stayed roof system cuts down on the number of columns in the exhibit space. Only two concrete pylons will penetrate the open interior exhibition space. Two more pylons will sit along the outside edge of the structure. 2) Of the other systems considered, this system has the most economical design. The cable stays are an efficient overhead support system. The use of high-strength bridge strands means the building's walls system doesn't have to transmit the roof loads across the freeway.

Subject Headings: Cables | Roofs | Highways and roads | Public buildings | Feasibility studies | Computer models | Building systems

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