Located in downtown Kansas City, the Kauffman Center serves as a catalyst for social, educational, and economic vitality in the city and the region. Composed of a proscenium theater and concert hall, Kauffman Center takes advantage of the topography. The two halls are connected by a single grand foyer in the form of an expansive glazed porch contained by glass, offering sweeping views outward over the city to the south. The curved, segmented northern walls are sheathed in silvery stainless steel and punctuated by precast concrete perpendicular walls.
The 1600 seat concert venue, was designed in collaboration between Moshe Safdie and Yasuhisa Toyota, the eminent Japanese acoustician. Acoustical considerations factored into every architectural decision, from the shape of the hall to the grain of the wood paneling. The fanning geometry of the northern facade is echoed within the interior, highlighting the sculptural arrangement of the organ. Emporis ranked Helzberg Hall as one of 15 best concert halls in the world in 2014.
The 1800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theater is designed for ballet, opera, and theater. The three balconies envelop the hall in a horseshoe-like enclosure. The balcony balustrades are a contemporary reinterpretation of the gilded, glittering, candle-lit balconies of 18th and 19th century theaters. A series of murals, conceived and designed by the students of the Kansas City Art Institute, are painted and illuminated directly on the acoustical structures.