The Construction of the Kauffman Center

The Kauffman Center transformed the Kansas City skyline over five years of construction. Follow a timeline from groundbreaking to grand opening.

By Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Kauffman Center - Groundbreaking (2006-10-06) by Photo Courtesy of the Kauffman Center for the Performing ArtsKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

On October 6, 2006 the board breaks ground for the Kauffman Center on the 13-acre lot.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre, David Riffel, 2009-01-28, From the collection of: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
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Construction begins on Muriel Kauffman Theatre, which was designed after the great opera houses in Europe.

Kauffman Center - South Exterior, David Riffel, 2009-09-01, From the collection of: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
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A fifty feet high and four feet thick retaining wall is built to separate the Arts District Garage from the Kauffman Center.

Kauffman Center - Northwest Aerial View (2009-09-15) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The north exterior shell takes form before the walls are to be filled with precast acid-etched concrete.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre Ceiling and Catwalks (2010-03-18) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Construction of Muriel Kauffman Theatre ceiling with a view of the catwalks above the stage.

Kauffman Center - Northwest Aerial View (2010-03-18) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The sides of the stainless steel shell are in the early stages of being covered with acid-etched limestone-colored precast concrete walls.

Kauffman Center - Southern Rooftop View (2010-03-29) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Workers install bead-blasted stainless steel onto the south slope of the roof.

Kauffman Center - Northwest Exterior (2010-05-03) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

1,530 stainless steel panels are being installed to cover the outer shell of Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

Kauffman Center - Southwest View from Brandmeyer Great Hall (2010-07-23) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Workers start to install the glass panels above Brandmeyer Great Hall where steel colums and tension support cables support the outer structure of the lobby.

Kauffman Center - Southeast Rooftop View (2010-07-23) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

686 glass roof panels are being installed above Brandmeyer Great Hall.

Kauffman Center - Southern Rooftop View (2010-08-16) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Workers manage the change in the pitch of the roof, which ranges from 15 degrees to approximately 40-45 degrees.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre View from Stage (2010-08-16) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The construction of the box seats and balconies in Muriel Kauffman Theatre commences.

Kauffman Center - Southern Exterior (2010-08-30) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Architect Moshe Safdie designed the exterior of Brandmeyer Great Hall with music in mind. The outside steel rods remind Safdie of a violin or cello, while the cables are the strings of an instrument.

Kauffman Center - Northwest Exterior (2010-09-16) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Construction workers install the framework for the stainless steel panels which will be placed on the outer shell of Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre (2010-09-16) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

A view from the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage of the extensive catwalks and layered balconies.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre (2010-09-30) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

One of the many murals throughout Muriel Kauffman Theatre. The murals were designed and hand-painted by Kansas City Art Institute students under the direction of Moshe Safdie.

Kauffman Center - Northern Exterior (2010-09-30) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Workers repel off of the bead-blasted stainless steel while installing the panels.

Kauffman Center - Southwest Exterior (2010-09-30) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

A glass panel hangs in the air while a worker prepares to install it on the southwest side of Brandmeyer Great Hall.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall, David Riffel, 2010-10-12, From the collection of: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
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The final stages of construction of the acoustical canopy that hangs over the Helzberg Hall stage. The canopy can be raised or lowered in order to tune Helzberg Hall.

Kauffman Center - Brandmeyer Great Hall (2010-10-21) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Workers are installing some of the final glass panels in Brandmeyer Great Hall.

Kauffman Center - Southern Roof (2010-10-21) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Construction workers stand on the edge of the Kauffman Center's glass roof.

Kauffman Center - Gala Spiralifts under the Muriel Kauffman Theatre Stage (2010-10-21) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage features two Gala Spiralifts which can transform the stage from a flat floor into an orchestra pit configuration.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall Stage (2010-10-21) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The construction of stage risers takes place in Helzberg Hall. Six Gala riser lifts will be put in place which will form three half-ring risers, which are optimal for orchestra or choir configurations.

Kauffman Center - Southwest Exterior (2010-10-21) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The Kauffman Center contains 40,000 square feet of glass.

Kauffman Center - Brandmeyer Great Hall From Above (2010-10-25) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The view of Brandmeyer Great Hall from the 7th floor balcony near Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall Stage (2010-11-15) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The Gala riser lifts on the Helzberg Hall stage will help enhance the acoustics of the space.

Kauffman Center - Eastern Staircase in Brandmeyer Great Hall (2010-11-18) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Three linear miles of caulking was used to keep all of the glass panels in place in Brandmeyer Great Hall. That's enough to stretch from the Kauffman Center to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Kauffman Center - Southern Exterior (2010-11-30) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The setting sun reflects on the glass on the south side of the Kauffman Center.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall (2011-01-21) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Construction workers continue working in Helzberg Hall near stage right.

Kauffman Center - Northwest Exterior (2011-01-21) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Fallen snow drifts atop the outer shell of the Kauffman Center.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre Mezzanine View, David Riffel, 2011-02-04, From the collection of: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
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The orchestra pit in Muriel Kauffman Theatre can accommodate up to 95 musicians.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall Grand Tier Center View, David Riffel, 2011-02-18, From the collection of: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
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Seating begins to be placed in Helzberg Hall, which will eventually be able to seat 1,600 patrons.

Kauffman Center - Southeast Aerial View (2011-03-02) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

An aerial view of the Kauffman Center showcases the completed installation of bead-blasted stainless steel.

Kauffman Center - Brandmeyer Great Hall Flooring (2011-03-16) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Brandmeyer Great Hall and the Plaza Lobby feature embedded radiant floor heating and cooling systems.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall Right Mezzanine View (2011-03-16) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The finishing touches are being made to each section in Helzberg Hall.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre Mezzanine View (2011-03-16) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Seating and air vents are being installed and the sound cockpit lift can be seen in back of the Orchestra section. This lift can transform from seating into a sound mixing location in five minutes.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre Balcony View, David Riffel, 2011-03-16, From the collection of: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
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Seating in the Balcony section of Muriel Kauffman Theatre is now in place. The theatre seats 1,800 patrons and is the home of the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall Grand Tier Center View, David Riffel, 2011-03-29, From the collection of: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
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Work on the Helzberg Hall stage is nearly finished.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre Box Seat View (2011-04-14) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The LED-lit mylar located on the balustrades was crumpled by one woman in order to create uniformity across the theatre.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre Upstage Right (2011-05-02) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

There are 70 counterweight line sets located on the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage which can lift up to 2,000 pounds each.

Kauffman Center - Helzberg Hall Grand Tier Center View (2011-05-18) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The Kansas City Symphony has begun their first rehearsals on the Helzberg Hall stage.

Kauffman Center - Muriel Kauffman Theatre Grand Tier View (2011-05-31) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

A new meadow of switchgrass can be seen to the east of the Kauffman Center. Plant life around the Kauffman Center includes rose bushes, ivy, and several species of trees.

Kauffman Center - Eastern Exterior (2011-05-31) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The mylar coverings are now being painted with a gold finish. The mylar will assist with the acoustics of the theatre.

Kauffman Center - Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875 in Helzberg Hall (2011-07-15) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875 is in the early stages of being built. It was built by Casavant Frères in Saint-Hyacinthe, Ontario, Canada.

Kauffman Center - Northwest Exterior (2011-07-15) by David RiffelKauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Construction is now complete and the Kauffman Center is ready to enrich the lives of everyone in our community through extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences.

Credits: Story

Photos courtesy of David Riffel and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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