The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


Washington D.C.


Steven Holl Architects / BNIM Architects

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the nation’s busiest performing arts center and a living memorial to President Kennedy. The REACH provides approximately 72,000 sf of rehearsal and educational space. It expands the memorial to a living landscape, the largest green roof in Washington, D.C. The building is constructed with architecturally exposed concrete, utilizing post tension and voided slabs to create seamless arrangement of long spans, textured surfaces and vaults of hyperbolic and conical geometries. The American Concrete Institute (ACI) awarded the project it highest honor, winning its 2020 Overall Excellence in Concrete Construction Award.

A new steel pedestrian bridge connects the Kennedy Center to the Potomac River waterfront and the Rock Creek Park trail system. The main span has over a 35:1 span to depth ratio; the 2 ft deep asymmetric, V-shaped steel-box section consists of a 93 ft main span with a 23 ft cantilever over Rock Creek Parkway. It then turns 106.5 degrees to a series of sloping spans – the longest being over 62 ft – creating a ramp that connects the Plaza to the Potomac River waterfront. 

Jeffrey Beane was the project manager and lead structural engineer for all phases of design and construction.* The project was completed in 2019.

*completed at previous firm

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