Midtown/Plaza Area Plan Bowl Concept

Recipients: City of Kansas City and Vireo

The County Club Plaza is regarded as the first planned suburban shopping district in the United States, and also as the first shopping center to accommodate the automobile. Designed as an outdoor shopping center, the Country Club Plaza is composed of low-rise buildings with a Spanish Architectural theme, ornate towers, cream-colored stucco storefronts and clay tile roofs. Sine the Country Club Plaza was first conceived by J.C. Nichols during the early 1920's, it's overriding planning and urban design concepts are still valid. Among the most important urban design concepts that embody the Country Club Plaza is the "Bowl Concept." The Bowl Concept describes the conscious transition of building heights from the low-rise buildings of the Country Club Plaza to buildings of increasing height as they are placed on the surrounding hills. 

The 1989 Plaza and Urban Design and Development Plan recommended that the Bowl Concept to be implemented by the regulation of building heights in the Plaza area, by formalizing a mapped area Bowl Concept with height recommendations. The Midtown / Plaza Area, (Adopted 2016) incorporated and replaced the Plaza Urban Design and Development Plan and through that incorporation, Planners took the opportunity to clarify and recommending a different method for measuring building height. Directly following the adoption of the Midtown/Plaza Area plan, the Plan's height recommendation were unanimously adopted by the City. Council within the Country Club Plaza. Phase 1 of the Bowl Concept adoption was complete and the height limit for the country club plaza went from unlimited to 45' - a desire of preservations and neighbors for 25+ years.

See a draft of the Midtown/Plaza Area Plan Bowl Concept here