Fifty years after the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened in Washington, D.C., construction work on a 65,000-sf expansion to the facility began.
Designed by Steven Holl and BNIM, the project is being funded privately, and will be located south of the current facility. Functioning as an interactive space where artists and the community can come together, it will include spaces for rehearsal and education, as well as multi-use indoor and outdoor areas.
The building is meant to fuse the Potomac River and the landscape, the architects said. A grove made up of 35 ginkgo trees will remind visitors that Kennedy was America's 35th president, and an infinity pool will give visitors a direct sightline to Theodore Roosevelt Island.
Of the connection between the local landscape and the expansion, Steven Holl said in a statement: "The varied gardens will provide opportunities for casual performances and events and other flexible locations for enhanced engagement. The Kennedy Center’s connection to the Potomac River will finally be achieved, more than 50 years after it was lost in Edward Durell Stone’s initial design, allowing easy access to and from the Rock Creek Trail and the Georgetown waterfront."
The expansion is slated for completion on May 29, 2017, which would have been Kennedy's 100th birthday.