Another Design Experiment . January 30, 2016

The Kansas Project: Evolving

Development planning for the Kansas Project is being redirected, reimagined and refined following our first round of testing and analysis with the researchers at WindEEE. Of course, we are still working to develop a weather-centric guest ranch for sky-lovers at the heart of Tornado Alley, but the approach to design is being totally reconsidered.


For the first phase of design work, we had been mindful of resiliency but it was not a high enough priority when it came to developing the forms of buildings and structures. During modelled testing of the development in various simulated tornado scenarios, all buildings experienced extreme wind loads that made them vulnerable in even weaker, low-end events. Full results of the WindEEE testing should be available to post here on The Kansas Project Blog in the next few weeks.

The angular edges and flat surfaces of traditional buildings simply will never be optimal in the face of extreme wind events; indeed, the hypothesis of the team is that dome structures will be the key to attaining the highest degree of wind resiliency.

Geodesic Comps


Above: We are exploring the possibility that all of the developments’ buildings be domed, and are looking at existing manufacturers who might be suitable to work with for customization of prefabricated, modular products. A few that we’re talking to are Solalaya and Ecocapsule.

Below: We’ve looked at Kakslauttanen Arctic Lodge, a safari resort that is conceptualized around the land and sky of northern Finland, as a precedent for using domed forms in an application designed for climate management and enhanced environmental experience.



In addition to reconsidering the design of all of the buildings at The Kansas Project ranch, we are also working to refine the program of the development as a whole… Think: sky observation decks, a weather gallery, telescope and solar observatory, tornado visualization simulator, hiking and horseback trails, swimming holes, the works!




As we rework the business and development plan for The Kansas Project, including a redesign of buildings and a refinement of program, there will be more updates to come in the weeks and months ahead.

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