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Kennedy Center Plans $100 Million Expansion, New Design

The Kennedy Center expansion includes a floating outdoor stage and an outdoor video wall among other proposed innovations.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is undertaking a $100 million expansion to add education, rehearsal and additional performance spaces, in a design proposed by Steven Holl Architects.

The initial $50 million gift to begin the endeavor comes from Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

Though more formal plans will come in the following months, the Kennedy Center website describe's Holl's concept:

"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."

The Washington Post reports that the project is expected to take five years and will add an additional 60,000 square feet of indoor space through the three pavillions.

“Arts institutions do better when the vision is bigger,” Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, told The Washington Post. said. “When you are forward in your thinking and expansive in your vision, people want to support you.”

The Kennedy Center just began a new major fundraising campaign of $125 million to cover both the remaining costs of the expansion and new programming efforts.

Read more about the Kennedy's Center's plans on their website here.

Read the full Washington Post report here.

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