The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced that it had selected Steven Holl Architects to design a $100 million, 60,000-square-foot expansion, the first in the Center’s history. The proposed addition to the centre will be largely underground with three pavilions rising to the surface in a newly created park. The pavilions will be made of carved Carrara marble rather than glass. Most of the area adjacent to the original building will be allotted for office and rehearsal spaces. The pavilions to come up on the parking lot will have fragments open to views, light and natural ventilation.
Holl positioned the pavilions to frame views of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and other Washington landmarks. One of the pavilions will have a flat wall that can be used for video projections, including simulcasts of performances inside the Center. Another will be a stage that floats on the Potomac River and is reached by two walkways over Rock Creek Parkway. The surrounding gardens will contain a number of references to the Center’s namesake, including a pool the length of Kennedy’s wartime vessel, P.T. 109. David M. Rubenstein, founder of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, and chairman of the Kennedy Center board has pledged $50 million for the project.