Kauffman Performing Arts Center
- Apr 6, 2010
In September 2011, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be opening. This architectural icon has changed the Kansas City Skyline and will be the home of the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet. The Center covers 13 acres and includes landscaped grounds over a 1,000 space underground parking garage.
The building holds an 1800-seat proscenium-style theater for general theatrical performances, ballet, and opera as well as a 1600-seat concert hall that features vineyard-style seating on all four sides of the stage. The two venues are joined by the Grand Lobby with an expansive view open to the South. The lobby will be used by patrons on performance nights and will also be available for special events held at the Kauffman Center.
The internationally recognized design team included Moshe Safdie & Associates, Theatre Projects Consultants, and Nagata Acoustics. Their design incorporated the very latest in architectural innovation and technology to create virtually perfect acoustics and optimal sightlines in both performance halls. Groundbreaking for the Kauffman Center took place on October 6, 2006.
The design for the Kauffman Center, encourages the enrichment of the lives of people in the community through extraordinary performing-arts experiences. To emphasize that mission, architects created a dramatic sloped-roof design that uses innovative techniques to produce the final shape in precast reinforced concrete, glass and stainless steel.
The center contains two performance spaces along the ridgeline of the site, facing south, fronted by a glazed foyer. As a result, patrons enter to a dramatic view and terraced gardens and proceed to a grand staircase in the lobby.
The envelope consists of a series of undulating, vertical segments of a circle forming the northern container of the theater’s stage and concert hall. As these elements ascend, they create the building’s segmented, gently curving crown.
From the crest, the roof descends in a curve following a geometric design of light cables, metal and glass toward the south. The roof intersects with an outwardly inclined and curved glass wall, which contains the foyer. The curved, segmented northern walls are sheathed in silvery stainless steel and punctuated by acid-etched, limestone-colored precast reinforced concrete perpendicular walls.
The tensile forces of the suspended glass foyer roof are counteracted by a series of cables securing the structure to anchors at the entrance terrace. The anchors are attached to 24- by 36-inch beams that form a wall separated from the building by a 12-inch-thick concrete driveway slab reinforced with epoxy-coated reinforcing bar. The roadway acts as a brace for the grade-beam system, to ensure the building remains secured.
Use of epoxy-coated reinforcing bar alleviated concerns that long-term effects of traffic loads would erode the surface, allowing moisture and salt to penetrate and cause corrosion. Approximately 872 tons of epoxy-coated bar were used in the project.