Steven Holl Architect’s Expansion of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Approved

Steven Holl Architect’s Kennedy Center Expansion was approved by both U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and National Capitol Planning Commission. Construction begins in September.

The re-envisioned plan is comprised of three land-based pavilions on the Kennedy Center’s South Plaza and a newly imagined pedestrian bridge that will connect the Potomac River waterfront to the Kennedy Center. With this design, the Kennedy Center will add more flexible performance and education space, improve visitor access, and gain a more effective connection to the Potomac River.

The update to the project includes a third land-based pavilion—a highly convertible, intimate venue that will serve as a performance space, workshop, patron gathering space, and café. Large windows and a retractable wall offer an opportunity for visitors to witness artists in the creative process within the bright and open space. The pavilion offers space to afford artists-in-residence the ability to develop new works that could later be performed in the Center’s larger theaters.

The Kennedy Center Expansion is intended to be a place where visitors can more actively engage with artists, while also creating new and much-needed rehearsal, education, and flexible indoor and outdoor event and performance spaces. A pedestrian bridge connecting the South Plaza to the Rock Creek Parkway pedestrian path provides additional accessibility to the Kennedy Center and expands its relationship to the river.