The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has become an architectural icon in Kansas City. Photo by Bdevero via Flickr.
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a center for music, opera, theater, and dance, opened in downtown Kansas City, Missouri in September 2011.
What began as a sketch on a napkin has become an architectural icon and home for the performing arts in Kansas City. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has changed Kansas City’s skyline, as well as the experiences of artists and audiences throughout the region.
Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts presents a wide spectrum of entertainers and performances from around the world, including classical, pop, and jazz music, ballet and contemporary dance, Broadway productions, comedy shows and more. It is also the performance home to three of the region’s leading performing arts organizations—Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
The Kauffman Center is one of the most technically and architecturally advanced performing arts centers in the nation, allowing its resident companies and presenters to stage more sophisticated work, encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, and foster the cross-fertilization of the companies’ audiences. The 285,000 square-foot facility includes two separate halls: the 1,600 seat Helzberg Hall and the 1,800 seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre— both housed within a dramatic overarching shell featuring a glass roof and glass walls. The Brandmeyer Great Hall provides sweeping views of Kansas City.
The Kauffman Center's performance venues, Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall, are two distinct structures, each existing in their own acoustical envelope. An overarching shell houses both venues and its glass roof creates a series of interior piazzas that serve as shared public spaces.
About the Architect
Moshe Safdie is a leading architect, urban planner, educator, theorist, and author. Embracing a comprehensive and humane design philosophy, Safdie has been influential in architecture and urban planning for over forty years.
More information on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is available at kauffmancenter.org.