The West Bottoms Flats are a market-rate housing project in the West Bottoms area of Kansas City, Missouri, that have transformed four historic warehouse and manufacturing buildings into apartments, micro-retail, indoor/outdoor amenity space, and parking. While retaining the historical facades and many of the interior architectural features of the buildings, the West Bottoms Flats includes four unique buildings – Abernathy, Liberty, Wyoming, and Bemis – that provide 265 residential units, courtyards, tenant amenities, ground-level commercial spaces to activate street-level, and a valet parking structure, to help revitalize this historic, formerly industrial area.
The West Bottoms Flats create a revived atmosphere for residents while acknowledging and respecting the historical integrity of the area. The exterior facades of each building were rejuvenated with a light touch. Windows and doors are replaced with new historic replicas, masonry is repaired and cleaned. The differing interior geometries and deep floor plates of these former warehouse and manufacturing buildings are addressed by removing portions of floor and roof structure in the centers of three of the buildings to create new "light courts" that grant access to daylight and fresh air for all apartments.
A large mid-block courtyard provides a place for community and features native plantings to accentuate a post-industrial landscape returning to nature. Over the past few decades, talented street artists from across the region have transformed the brick walls of this neighborhood into an open-air art gallery. This informal invitation remains open, and new murals have continued to appear on the courtyard and alley walls.
The project also integrates innovative stormwater strategies into the amenity courtyards and historic alleys as part of a larger system of green infrastructure and public realm improvements.