Launch Slideshow

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

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    Michael Spillers

    A view of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at night. The lobby area, known as the Brandmeyer Great Hall is seen through the 330-foot-long glass curtain wall.

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    Michael Spillers

    Inside the 1,600-seat Helzberg Concert Hall, home to the Kansas City Symphony.

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    Michael Spillers

    A view from the stage of Helzberg Hall looking out at the seating area. The hall is outfitted with both architectural lighting and theatrical lighting systems. The perimeter of the space is accented by PAR38 IR wallwashers that line the ceiling cove.

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    Glenn Heinmiller/Lam Partners

    A view of the 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre, home to the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

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    Michael Spillers

    In the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, the sparkling effect seen in the balcony fronts is achieved by custom textured acrylic forms backed with a folded reflective material and illuminated by dimmable LED striplights.

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    Michael Spillers

    A view of Brandmeyer Great Hall from the staircase leading off of the perimeter balcony corridors of Helzberg Concert Hall. The perimeter balcony corridors of the Muriel Kauffman Theatre are seen in the distance. Lighting is made discreet to blend into the architecture.

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    Paul Zaferiou/Lam Partners

    Brandmeyer Great Hall. A color wash is created by light reflected from the carpet (red for the Muriel Kauffman Theatre and blue for Helzberg Hall)­ a planned effect achieved through elaborate testing and mock-ups.

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    Michael Spillers

    The entry drive to the Kauffman Center is anchored by 27 high-tension steel cables that support the glass curtainwall.

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    Michael Spillers

    The north entry to the Kauffman Center features the dramatic ribbed forms of the stainless steel-clad structure of the performance halls.

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    Michael Spillers

    Clusters of carefully aimed, and discreetly  placed, ceramic metal halide spotlights wash across the building's dramatically  formed north elevation.

 

Designed by Safdie Architects, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts sits confidently on the Kansas City’s horizon, and its unique architectural form—a ribbed, helmetlike shape—gives the city a notable landmark. While the building as a whole has a sizeable urban presence, the real cause for celebration is its technical prowess, most of which is hidden in its structure, acoustical performance, and lighting. The center is actually several structures in one, wrapped in an envelope of metal and glass. It has two main performance halls—Helzberg Hall and the Muriel Kauffman Theater—each of which is structurally independent of one another as well as the main glass-enclosed lobby area known as Brandmeyer Hall.

Lam Partners, with the assistance of local firm Derek Porter Studio, have lit the interiors and exteriors in a seemingly simple, yet technically sophisticated, way. For example, five different luminaires work in concert to illuminate the entry drive and its architectural features. In Brandmeyer Hall, PAR38-IR spotlights are mounted directly to the tubular steel beams and provide the space with complementary lighting at night, which otherwise relies on daylight. Despite the scale of the building, the lighting provides an intimate feel and sets the stage for the spectacle within.

Jury Comments: The lighting cohesively brings all the different spaces together. • The lighting of the back facade is particularly dramatic.