By Kevin Collison
A. Zahner Co., a world-renowned, architectural metal fabrication firm, is practicing its creativity on its $5 million expansion project at its downtown headquarters and manufacturing facility at Eighth and The Paseo.
In what appears to be giant organic cones straight out of science fiction, the firm is creating 7,000 square feet of new design engineering space.
The metal-clad conical structures are coupled with a more conventional 10,000 square-foot rectangular structure to accommodate advanced manufacturing.
“It’s pretty wild,” said Bill Zahner, president and CEO of the firm. “Hopefully we’ll get it done soon.”
Zahner said the firm, which has fabricated sophisticated metal building materials used by the world’s premier architects including Frank Gehry, has been growing steadily. It recently received two major contracts for Google projects.
The striking expansion is intended to demonstrate the firm’s capabilities to new customers.
“We get so many visitors from around the world, our idea is to show our them our technology and get rid of the internal structure,” Zahner said.
Zahner employs about 210 people with 120 at the Kansas City facility and the remainder at an operation in suburban Dallas.
Work on the latest addition, which also includes more parking and an outdoor assembly area, has been underway for over a year and is expected to be completed next month. The architect is Crawford Architects, the general contractor is Fogel-Anderson.