The Kennedy Center Expansion Project

Edited by: Enrico Mancini @Enrico_Mancini

Where: Washington D.C., U.S.A.

Architecture: Steven Holl Architects

kennedy from potomak


The John F. Kennedy Center for the performing arts announces an expansion project to be designed by Steven Holl Architects.

The Kennedy Center firmly wanted the american architect to design their new structures, that, approximately, will cost $100 million. Mr. David M. Rubenstein, chairmain of JFK Center, will personally donate $50 million toward the design and construction of the new building.

“Steven’s wonderful concept will create a strong visual presence that bolsters the Center’s prominence as the national cultural center, while maintaining its unique presence among Washington’s iconic landmarks.” stated Mr. Rubenstein.


kennedy bird


Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser added, “The Kennedy Center has the largest arts education program in the country without having any dedicated facilities to serve these growing programs. I’m so pleased the Kennedy Center will have spaces specifically designed for these functions to help fulfill our mission of bringing arts education to students across Washington and to millions of people across the country.”


kennedy by night


Steven Holl’s initial concept for the project includes three connected pavilions that will house classrooms, rehearsal rooms, education for arts managers, 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.


steven holl


What is to be noticed here is that, remarkably, the monument-style iconic landmark has being rejected. It is something to appreciate if you consider that Washington D.C. is filled with huge monuments and Hellenic-looking facades.

Is this a new path for north american architecture?



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About the Author

My career started studying classic literature and humanities, after that, I chose to attend the college of Architecture in the University of Trieste, Italy, my hometown and the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura in the Politecnico of Valencia, Spain.
When I came back to Italy, I collaborated as tutor in the IUAV (University IUAV of Venezia) and in the University of Trieste.
In 2011, I started working as architect in London, meanwhile I joined the Posi+tive Magazine's architectural department as editor.
In 2012 I began a new activity, as co-founder of zero40lab, an architecture laboratory in Italy.

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