KCI Takes Flight: New Airport and Parking Garage Widen Horizon for Kansas City Region

KCI Takes Flight: New Airport and Parking Garage Widen Horizon for Kansas City Region

KANSAS CITY, Mo (February 28, 2023) — The new Kansas City International (KCI) Airport Parking Garage officially opened to the public on Feb. 28, 2023. In a highly collaborative design-build partnership, BNIM and JE Dunn completed the new 2.5 million SF KCI Airport parking garage which accompanies the newly constructed single terminal, designed by Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM). Together, the two structures widen the horizon for the future of KCI Airport and represent the Kansas City region on a global scale.

The parking garage establishes the initial view of the new KCI Airport, visible from I-29 highway. Parallel to the new terminal, the structure provides 6,219 parking stalls to accommodate visitors to the region. The structure is constructed from 4,382 pieces of pre-cast concrete and features shingle glass on the north and west façade, a 168-kW array of photovoltaic (PV) solar integration on the south façade, and a unitized curtain wall system on the west façade, facing the terminal head house. BNIM and JE Dunn coordinated efforts with SOM to develop a cohesive compositional relationship between the parking garage and terminal through structural rhythm and facades, enhancing KCI Airport’s presence. The garage also contributes to the overall KCI Airport complex's achievement of LEED BD+C NC (New Construction) Gold Certification.

BNIM’s history with the KCI Airport began with the firm’s founding Principals serving as design team members for the original terminals in 1972. The original KCI Airport design centered on creating convenience in travel. BNIM and JE Dunn aimed to maintain this design ethos in the new parking garage while elevating the visitor experience across multiple scales, from the vehicular entry sequence to inclusive pedestrian access approaching the terminal.

The design supports clear navigation and wayfinding to the terminal, safety and security, flexibility, and pedestrian-focused spaces. Vehicular speed ramps to all levels of the garage are stacked to the far eastern façade, away from the terminal. This allows for safer flat surfaces for pedestrian use as visitors move from west to east through the garage and access the clear vertical pedestrian circulation toward the terminal entrance. Features such as electric vehicle charging stations, ease of access to multiple modes of transport, and a smart parking guidance system seek to improve user experience within the garage.

The KCI Airport new terminal and parking garage features the largest One Percent for Art initiative in Kansas City history.  Josh Harrold, BNIM Associate Principal and project manager for the KCI Airport garage, served on the executive committee for the One Percent for Art program. “When an artist and an architect work truly collaboratively like that, you find new expressions of architecture. This is something to be really proud of for Kansas City,"  Harrold described. The design-build team worked with the One Percent for Art program and the Municipal Art Commission to incorporate art installations throughout the garage that positively impact human experience, while highlighting the works of  artists. Art pieces by Hou De Sousa and Jill Anholt Studio are prominently located in stairwells and above pedestrian arrival crosswalks. In addition to the experience of art, biophilic design strategies introduce nature into the space through horizontal planters and vertical trellises, bringing light and nature down to the arrival level.


“The new KCI Airport is truly representative of an era of positive transformation and growth that is happening within the Kansas City region right now. We are proud to be a part of a collaborative and multi-disciplinary team focused on supporting human experience, community, and new opportunities for Kansas City and the Midwest region. BNIM is excited to contribute to this significant project for KCI in the design of the new parking garage.”

- Craig Scranton, AIA, LEED AP, BNIM Principal

“Our airport now reflects the revitalization our city has experienced over the past 20 years. It was a wonderful and collaborative experience working with the Kansas City Aviation Department, BNIM and their consultants and all of our great trade partners. The new KCI is going to do so much to transform the entire metro area, and we are honored for the role we were able to play with terminal concessions and the new parking garage.”

- Jeff Blaesing, JE Dunn Construction, Kansas City Office Leader


Media Release by BNIM and JE Dunn

BNIM’s core purpose is: “We deliver beautiful, integrated, living environments that inspire change and enhance the human condition.” The services we provide—architecture, interior design, landscape design, sustainability leadership and consulting, graphic design, and planning—are guided by this mission. BNIM has been recognized with more than 500 awards for exceptional design and thought leadership—including the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award—and the firm has emerged nationally as a leading resource for established methodologies, innovative technologies, and cutting-edge research in architecture, planning, and landscape design. Through a process of integrated design, which is both an organized collaboration between disciplines and an interweaving and interconnectivity of building systems, our team creates designs that are both environmentally responsible and achieve the highest level of design excellence. For more information, visit www.bnim.com.

JE Dunn Construction, founded in 1924, is a domestic general building contractor in the United States with offices in 26 locations. Our vision is to be an indispensable business partner for our clients by first understanding their purpose, goals, and customers and then delivering transformational solutions with certainty of results. We maintain a commitment to our clients and their building goals while being true to our guiding principles — the philosophy of our business operation which is both family and employee-owned. JE Dunn’s purpose is to enrich lives through inspired people and places.

For more information, please contact Beena Ramaswami at [email protected] and Emily Gallagher at [email protected]