Our Work

Kansas City Zoo – Deramus Educational Complex

Kansas City, Missouri

As part of a multi-disciplinary team, Confluence assisted in the site planning and served as the site, landscape and irrigation designer on the Kansas City Zoo Entrance. Located in historic Swope Park, the Zoo lacked the desired vehicular and pedestrian circulation for its visitors. Resolving these critical issues sparked a $10M project that included a new Otter Exhibit, Swan Exhibit, and related site and architectural enhancements.

An entry drive with additional parking and a drop-off zone improved the vehicular and pedestrian circulation and proximity to the Zoo entrance.  The visitor’s first experience is a new plaza space at the Zoo entrance, where an informal play area was developed for kids adjacent to the ticket purchasing area. The play area is equipped with a poured-in-place rubber play mat.  A low seat wall clad with limestone to match the existing architecture separates the play area from the Deramus Building entrance. The existing Deramus entrance was converted into a small outdoor classroom – known as the ‘Knowledge Knoll’ –  and contains a bermed lawn and a seating area made with reclaimed stone ledge rock work.

The design of an internal plaza provides visual linkage with the arrival plaza using colored pavement banding, and serves as the corridor to the exhibits and dining areas. This space accommodates daily visitors and special event crowds, such as the annual Jazzoo and other civic and fundraising events.