2/14/2013

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion


Steven Holl Architects was unanimously selected by the Kennedy Center board of trustees to design the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Expansion Project. Mr. Holl remarked, "It is a great honor to design the extension to the Kennedy Center, a 'Living Memorial."  in that spirit ours is part of a vital architecture, providing much needed rehearsal space, and classrooms with natural light and ventilation."


Steven Holl's initial concept for the project includes three connected pavilions that will house classrooms, rehearsal rooms, lecture space, multipurpose rooms, and limited office space.  In the initial concept, one pavilion will float on the Potomac River and offer an outdoor stage.  Public gardens will fill out the space, fusing the Kennedy Center with the landscape and river.  The exteriors will utilize translucent Okalux, glass and Carrara marble, the same Italian marble which clads the original facility.  The silhouette of the current building will be preserved by connecting the new structure underground and via the main plaza.



A formal design will be created and announced in the coming months.  Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser stated, "The Kennedy Center has the largest arts education program in the country without having any dedicated facilities to serve these growing programs.  Kaiser is pleased to know that  the center will now have spaces specifically designed those functions, to help fulfill their mission of bringing arts education to students across Washington and to millions of people across the country.  The project is expected to cost approximately $100 million.  Kennedy Chairman David M. Rubenstein will donate $50 million toward the design and construction of the new building.  The design and construction costs for the expansion project will be paid for entirely with private funds.