If you build it, they will come - so goes the saying and we strongly suspect it will be true for Kansas City, which is now home to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. With one side composed of a series of concentric rings and the other a glass wall to pull in daylight and collect views of the city and prairie in the distance, the new performance center is a dramatic addition to the city. The Kauffman Center was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects with the help of Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics for hall design and BNIM with sustainable design and Building Information Modeling (BIM). Work completed on the center early this summer and it will officially open in September.
The arts center includes three different structures – a proscenium theater, a concert hall and a banquet hall – all lined up to face the south. A large glazed foyer serves the two large halls, providing a naturally daylit space for patrons with views to the south and out over the terraced gardens. The north side of the building is enveloped in a series of vertical circular segments that curve around the theaters and stages. Stainless steel wraps the circular segments and is covered on the sides with acid-etched, limestone colored precast concrete walls. The tensile forces of the suspended glass foyer roof are counteracted by a series of cables that tie down the structure on the south side near the entrance.
Both the Muriel Kauffman Theatre and the Helzberg Hall make use of advanced and high performance techniques to ensure top-notch acoustic quality. The new venue is located near downtown overlooking the historic warehouse district and the new entertainment district is expected to make a significant contribution to the redevelopment of the urban core. BNIM and Moshe Safdie worked together using 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) to virtually build the center beforehand to minimize costs during construction, increase efficiency and sustainability.
The Kauffman Center will officially open on September 16, 2011 and will serve as the home for the Kansas City Ballet, the Lyric Opera and the Kansas City Symphony.
Images ©Timothy Hursley