Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Customer Project

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts located in Kansas City, MO has a floor space of 286,000 ft2. The glass atrium is the signature feature of this building (dimensions L x W x H: 317 ft x 73 ft x 70 ft) which connects the main entry to both performance venues.

Architect Safdie Architects, USA
General Contractor JE Dunn Construction Co., USA
Planning, Structural Analysis & Atrium Construction Novum Structures LLC, USA


The glass facade and the glass skylight are supported entirely by the cable structure. This design was conceived as a cello’s strings fanning over a bridge and fret-board.

The structural analysis of the atrium steel‑glass structure was performed using RSTAB by the Dlubal customer Novum Structures. In addition, Novum was responsible for engineering, fabricating and constructing the project.


The two massive steel constructions that house the theatres (Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall) hold the upper end of a series of parallel cable trusses. The low end of the cables are anchored externally in the second floor slab after crossing pipe columns that define the line of the glazed walls and act as cable stays. In addition, they form the primary roof and perimeter frame structure. Lightweight steel purlins, spanning between adjacent roof cable trusses, support the skylight glass units which are secured with Novum’s Edge Clamp Glass System. A secondary cable system of vertical and inclined cables supports the glass wall units and are secured with Novum’s Corner Clamped Glass System.

The atrium contains 48,300 ft² of insulating, laminated glass that is comprised of 1,147 irregularly shaped segments, each weighing 600 to 800 lbs. The primary rectangular glass panels on the roof are 2 1/16 in thick. The wall panels are 1 3/4 in thick.

Project Location

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  • Updated 11/18/2020

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RSTAB Main Program
RSTAB 8.xx

Main Program

The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions

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