Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Quick Facts


Washington, DC


Public Building



Delivery Method

Plan & Spec

Square Footage


Project Summary

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (formally called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts) is the United States National Cultural Center, located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., named in 1964 as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy.

Opened on September 8, 1971, the performing arts center is a multi-dimensional facility: it produces a wide array of performances encompassing the genres of theater, dance, ballet, and orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music; offers multi-media performances for adults and children; and is a nexus of performing arts education.

In addition to the approximately 3,500 performances held annually for audiences totaling nearly two million, the center hosts touring productions and television and radio broadcasts that, collectively, are seen by 20 million more. Now in its 48th season, the center presents music, dance and theater and supports artists in the creation of new work. With its artistic affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra, the center’s achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in over 200 theatrical productions, dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.

This 65,000 square foot expansion project added underground rehearsal halls, educational space, three pavilions for performances (including one that floats on the Potomac River) and a new parking garage. The expansion’s new mechanical system ties into the existing chiller plant. The project included new air handing units, VAV boxes, underground ductwork and a slab heating and cooling system.