Helzberg Hall, KCPA

Opening Year 2011
Location Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Architect Moshe Safdie / Safdie Architects
Owner Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
User Kansas City Symphony
Construction Cost USD $413M (including Muriel Kauffman Theatre)

In September 2011, the Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opened to great fanfare as the new residence for the Kansas City Symphony.

The Moshe Safdie-designed concert hall seats 1,600 people in an arena configuration, placing the audience on all sides of the stage. The height of the room is one of the most impressive aspects of the space, since the tallest point of the room is approximately 100 feet above the stage.

This necessitated the insertion of the large orchestra reflector at a height of 50 feet above the stage, in order to provide good on-stage support for the musicians and to create the basis for pleasing acoustics for the whole audience. The extreme height is emphasized by a wall which reaches almost from the orchestra floor to the peak which is clad in an acoustically transparent metal mesh, which itself is washed by the natural light from the skylights at the peak of the room. Three tiers of balconies on the sides of the room add to the three-dimensionality of the audience configuration, further enhancing the intimacy of the medium-sized room, where the audience is divided into many sections which can easily see many other members of the audience, in addition to having a close visual and acoustical connection with the stage.

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