Bomanite Newsletter : Kansas City Zoo Helzberg Penguin Plaza

The design team at Bowman Bowman Novick approached Bomanite Licensee, Musselman & Hall in 2012 to discuss the concept and determine the reality of executing the vision of the new $15 million state-of-the-art penguin exhibit at the Kansas City Zoo. Musselman & Hall quickly assured the design team and owner that not only could the plaza be constructed per the concept but Musselman & Hall could help them go beyond that of their expectations.

Bomanite Sandscape Texture was chosen for the 2,500 square foot plaza. The entrance was engraved and stained to replicate the earth from a south pole perspective. Antarctica, Australia, South America, Africa, and the Galapagos Islands were stained into the plaza along with the oceans using several coordinating colors of Bomanite Con-Color. The stain was layered from light to dark tones to create relief and variation in the oceans and land masses. The oceans were stained a light blue near the continents; transitioning to deep, dark blue at the deepest areas of the ocean. Likewise the continents were stained. Vinyl templates/ paint masks were produced, using CAD files, for layout of the continents on the 56’ diameter globe. All longitudinal and latitudinal lines were bevel cut into the plaza. Eighteen species of penguins along with their unique footprints (to scale) were engraved into the plaza. Layout and execution was critical and accuracy was of the utmost importance to the owner and designer.

The work performed by Musselman & Hall earned them top recognition and a Gold Award for the Best Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Project of the year. The Helzberg Penguin Plaza entrance is the just the beginning to inspire people’s interest in becoming stewards of the planet’s wild penguin populations. For more information on the Helzberg Penguin Plaza and LEED Certification:

Bomanite Sandscape Texture is designed for outdoor applications where an alternate to conventional concrete finishes is required. Sandscape Texture, one of the Exposed Aggregate Systems offered by Bomanite for architectural concrete surfaces, utilizes specialized concrete mix designs, additives, topical treatments and advanced application procedures.

The finished Sandscape Texture product resembles sand blasted concrete and can incorporate specialized colored sands in the concrete and aggregates exceeding 3/8” in diameter. The final product is an economical alternate to other decorative finishes while producing a monolithic concrete slab with a low life cycle cost due to the pre-aged nature of the surface. Applications include plazas, shopping centers, schools and exterior walkways—anywhere improved wear resistance for light- to moderate-duty vehicular or foot traffic is necessary. These highly durable surfaces are available in a multitude of
standard and custom options, including light-reflective formulations that reduce heat island effect.

The Bomanite Exposed Aggregate Systems are applied by specially trained and licensed Bomanite Contractors, ensuring consistent quality in every application. Every Bomanite Licensed Contractor is part of a network of architectural concrete experts – professionals who receive ongoing technical training to ensure that your project is completed on time, on budget, and beyond your expectations. To find your local certified expert near you, visit



Project Name: Kansas City Zoo Helzberg Penguin Plaza
Client: Kansas City Zoo
Project Designers: Bowman Bowman Novick, Inc.
Location: Kansas City, MO
Completed: October 2013
Sq. Ft: 2,500
Bomanite System(s):
Exposed Aggregate Systems
-Sandscape Texture
Toppings Systems
– Con-Color; Cobalt Blue,
Indigo Blue, Park Green
– Bomanite UltraSeal
Bomanite Licensed Contractor:
Musselman & Hall Contractors, LLC
4922 E. Blue Banks
Kansas City, MO 64130
TEL: 816-861-1234
TEL: 314-739-1142
FAX: 816-861-1237