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Korean War Veterans Memorial

This project demonstrates the versatility, applicability and beauty of Tilt-Up concrete construction. Its inherent benefits can be seen in the articulation of the edges of the panels and how they mediate between the horizontal and vertical planes of concrete to give the overall appearance of a continuous ribbon. The outside faces of the memorial were treated to expose the aggregate on the surface of the panel resulting in a texture that gives depth to the surface. In contrast, the interior of the structure and all of the edges have a polished texture.

Openings in the walls and roof break up the mass of the large panels and provide additional layers of light. Reveals in the surface of the panels on both the interior and exterior reinforce the geometry of the structure. Large plaques bearing over 900 names of those from Missouri who died in defense of South Korea are inset on the interior of the structure. On the exterior, two large images, one on the outside face of each wall, are cast into the concrete. Grooves of varying depths and widths affect light cast on the structure to reveal the images.

Because of the structure's unique geometric shape, each panel had to interact with the next with virtually zero tolerance. Form liners were used to cast the images in the exterior faces of the panels. Once a wall panel was formed, including reveals, insets and embedded images, dense reinforcements were added and, finally, a layer of insets and reveals was secured to the top of the forming and the panel was poured. Then in an additional step, not traditional to a Tilt-Up project, the inside of each panel and its edges were polished to achieve the desired effect before being lifted into place.

Main banner image for Korean War Veterans Memorial

Project Location

Kansas City, MO 64111
United States


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Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
Needham DBS

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Monuments / Signs
Building Types:
Applied Ornament
Concrete (Exposed Aggregate)
Concrete (Polished)
Concrete (Raw/Sealed)
Angled Panels (Elevation-Edge/Shape)
Angled Panels (Plan-Orientation/Position)
Embedded Items
Integral Color
Interlocking Panels
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
6 panels
Tilt-Up Wall Area:
1,500 sq ft (139 sq m)
Total Floor Area:
0 sq ft (0 sq m)
Project Footprint:
0 sq ft (0 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)
Widest Panel:
0 ft 0 in (0.00 m)
Largest Panel:
200 sq ft (18.6 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
20,000 lbs (9,072 kg)
Tallest Cantilever:
0 ft 0 in (0.00 m)
Longest Spandrel:
0 ft 0 in (0.00 m)