Botwin Building / el dorado

© Mike Sinclair

The Botwin Building is located at a busy urban intersection within the Waldo neighborhood of downtown Kansas City. Largely comprised of small businesses, the historic Waldo Theater building, was part of this vibrant neighborhood. In February 2007 the building sadly burned to the ground. The owner, an invested Waldo community member, decided to rebuild immediately. The architects were asked to preserve the scale and footprint of the original building, but to ‘replant’ the corner, exploring the latest ideas about urban infill and sustainability. The Botwin Building opened its doors in September 2008.

The collaborative effort between architect, owner, consultants, and artist resulted in an award winning building. The Botwin Building recently received an Honor Award at the AIA Kansas City Design Awards 2010, along with an AIA Central States Region, 2008 Architectural Citation Award, and an IESNA Illumination Design Award 2009.

More photographs and drawings following the break.

Architects: el dorado inc
Location: Kansas City,
Principal in Charge: Josh Shelton
Project Architect: Steve Salzer, AIA
Custom In-house Fabrication: Brady Neely, Chris Burk
Structural Engineers: Bob D Campbell and Company
MEP Engineers: Lankford and Associates
Lighting: Derek Porter Studios Lighting
Integrated Art: Anne Lindberg
General Contractor: Hoffman Cortes
Owner: Botwin Family Partners, LP
Project Area: 12,500 sqf
Project Year: 2008
Renderings: el dorado inc
Photographs: Mike Sinclair

© Mike Sinclair
© Mike Sinclair

Slips and Shifts, the 10′ x 200′ site-specific ‘drawing’, is the result of a successful collaboration between the local studio artist and architect.  The second level glazing system simultaneously reduces heat gain from the buildings southern and western exposure and responds to the dynamic urban site of the building.


In total the new structure can accodate four small commercial tenants.  The design merges interior and exterior spaces at the sidewalk level, utilizing these spaces to both separate and join tenants.  The second floor tenants share a common elevator lobby space and an exterior sun deck space.

first floor plan

A planted roof, operable windows, integrated sun shading, new bamboo streetscaping are just some of the features of this building.

© Mike Sinclair
© Mike Sinclair

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Botwin Building / el dorado" 21 Dec 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • urban green

    I live very close to this building and it is without a doubt a very nice project!

    It however does not work in the location that it was built within. The existing context which only slightly shows in two of the attached images only hints at how foreign this building looks in the Waldo neighborhood.
    There’s something strange (at least to me) about a project that you could literally pull up by the roots and transplant in another location where it would look more at home..

  • jb

    So nice to see this in Missoura…you go KC. El Dorado rocks – please come to St. Louis! We need help!

    It fits perfect in Waldo – world context.

  • Holcim Awards US

    This is a really nice design. Simple form with elegant materials. I love the native grasses growing on the roof and the elegant sun screens. Great project.
    This would be an excellent entry to the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction.
    Online Entry Form:
    More Info:

  • kc deserves better

    jb – (While I like 95% of el dorado’s projects) feel free to take this one to St. Louie….