Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Safdie Architects
Three performance spaces – a proscenium theatre, a concert hall, and a banquet hall – are placed along the ridge line of the site, facing south. A glazed foyer serves the two major halls; a smaller foyer is attached to the view south and the terraced gardens, and then enter by grand staircase or elevator to the main lobby.
The enveloping structure of the complex is a series of undulating, vertical segments of a circle forming the northern container of the theatre’s stage, concert hall, and experimental theatre. As these elements ascend, they create a segmented, gently curving crown to the building. From this crest, the roof descends in a curve glass wall, which contains the foyer with a southern view. The tensile forces of the suspended glass foyer with a southern view. The curved, segmented northern walls are sheathed in silvery stainless steel and punctuated by acid-etched, limestone-coloured, precast concrete perpendicular walls.
The roof is stainless steel over the performing halls, changing to glass over the foyers. The glass enclosure opens the foyer to dramatic views of the sky and skyline. At night, seen from the exterior, the glazing disappears and reveals the dramatically lit theatre facades and activity within the public areas. The theatre facades are clad in veneer plaster forming continuous curved, stacked balconies. The lobby bars form sculptural shapes visible under the glass structure.