Almost 50 years to the day after President Lyndon B Johnson broke ground on Edward Durell Stone's design for the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, today Vice President Joe Biden will do the same for Steven Holl Architects' design of the Kennedy Center Expansion, a largely below-ground addition that will add an extra 60,000 square feet to the Center.
Consisting of three pavilions, set in a verdant public park and connected to the main building by the subterranean addition, the expansion will add new classrooms, rehearsal and multipurpose rooms, along with lecture and office space to complement the existing building. The three pavilions will be clad in translucent Okalux, glass, and Carrara marble to further blend in with the original design, while one of the pavilions will extend out into the Potomac River to create an outdoor stage at the water's edge. The $100 million expansion "will allow the Center to continue to play a national and global leadership role in providing artistic, cultural, and enrichment opportunities for all," say Steven Holl Architects.
Starting at 10.30am EST, speakers at the ceremony will include Biden, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein, Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter, Kennedy Center Trustee Rose Kennedy Schlossberg, and Steven Holl. After the ground-breaking ceremony itself, Holl and Senior Partner Chris McVoy will give an overview of the project's design, after which an exhibition of the design will be instated in the Kennedy Center's Grand Foyer.
In addition to the main ceremony at the Center's Lower South Plaza & Grand Foyer, the public is invited to attend a livestream of the event at Kennedy Center Millennium Stage North. This livestream feed will also be accessible through the Kennedy Center's Expansion Website from 10.30am.