Kansas City Zoo – Helzberg Penguin Plaza

The design team at Bowman Bowman Novick approached Bomanite Licensee, Musselman & Hall in 2012 to discuss the concept and determine the reality of executing the vision of the new $15 million state-of-the-art penguin exhibit at the Kansas City Zoo.  Musselman & Hall quickly assured the design team and owner that not only could the plaza be constructed per the concept but Musselman & Hall could help them go beyond that of their expectations.

Bomanite Sandscape Texture was chosen for the 2,500 square foot plaza. The entrance was engraved and stained to replicate the earth from a south pole perspective. Antarctica, Australia, South America, Africa, and the Galapagos Islands were stained into the plaza along with the oceans using several coordinating colors of Bomanite Con-Color. The stain was layered from light to dark tones to create relief and variation in the oceans and land masses. The oceans were stained a light blue near the continents; transitioning to deep, dark blue at the deepest areas of the ocean. Likewise the continents were stained. Vinyl templates/ paint masks were produced, using CAD files, for layout of the continents on the 56’ diameter globe. All longitudinal and latitudinal lines were bevel cut into the plaza. Eighteen species of penguins along with their unique footprints (to scale) were engraved into the plaza. Layout and execution was critical and accuracy was of the utmost importance to the owner and designer.

The work performed by Musselman & Hall earned them top recognition and a Gold Award for the Best Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Project of the year. The Helzberg Penguin Plaza entrance is the just the beginning to inspire people’s interest in becoming stewards of the planet’s wild penguin populations. For more information on the Helzberg Penguin Plaza and LEED Certification:

Kansas City Zoo

For years the front entrance to the Kansas City Zoo was an unwelcoming and inconvenient meandering trail that forced visitors to drag their strollers, children and other paraphernalia across a long and unsightly path to the ticket office. All that has changed.

In the spring of 2008 Musselman & Hall began work on a $ 342,500 project to beautify the Zoo entrance. The M&H contract was part of a much larger undertaking administered by J.E. Dunn Construction Co. to tie the new entrance to a renovation of the Otter Habitat. Adam Cox was project manager for Dunn and Brian Tevelt was job superintendent. The landscape architect for the work was Confluence Architects under lead architect Matt Evett and the project architect was Peckham, Guyton Albers & Viets, Inc. (PGAV) represented by Dale Thies.

The M&H portion of the work included the placement of nearly 22,000 s.f. of Sandscape Texture by Bomanite sidewalk, 2,900 s.f. of exposed aggregate sidewalk, and 4,500 s.f. of integrally colored pavement at the entrance. All of the work had to be completed in six weeks in order to meet the schedule for the grand opening. The crew, under the supervision of M&H foreman Sam Kroesen, worked seven days a week to meet the deadline. According to M&H project manger Dan Kroesen, “This project was very difficult for us. Because we were the last contractor on the site, we were left with a very short time to get our work done. In addition, we had to do extensive planning work to get the layout right so we could blend the various colors into a pattern that would look good and, at the same time, be properly jointed so that shrinkage cracks would occur in the joints and not across the slabs.” Dan went on, “The coolest thing is that outside the Otter Exhibit we used an otter foot stamp to make it look like the otters had tracked through the fresh concrete. I can’t wait to take my kids to see it.” The integrally colored pavement included Bomanite Light Copper and Granola colors. The Sandscape Texture sidewalks contained alternating bands of the same Light Copper and Granola shades.

When asked about the finished product, Zoo project manager Mike Stuckey remarked, “We are very pleased with the final result. Musselman & Hall paid great attention to our needs and worked hard to meet the schedule. We have had hundreds of compliments on the work. Now, instead of dealing with the old ugly entrance, our patrons can literally pull up to the front door, drop off their passengers, and find a place to park close by. Once they enter the Zoo, they get an immediate experience with the Swan and Otter exhibits. We could not be happier!”