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

Customer Project

Architect Safdie Architects
Somerville, Massachusetts, USA
General Contractor JE Dunn Construction Co.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Planning, Structural Analysis & Atrium Construction Novum Structures LLC
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, USA

Length: ~ 127 m | Width: ~ 99 m | Height: ~ 52 m
Number of Nodes: 5,008 | Members: 9,685 | Cross-Sections: 126

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts located in Kansas City, MI, USA, has a floor space of 27,000 m². The glass atrium is the signature feature of this building (dimensions L x W x H: 97 m x 22 m x 23 m) which connects the main entry to both performance venues.

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 Software 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 is 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, which support the skylight glass units are secured with Novum's Edge Clamp Glass System. A secondary cable system of vertical and inclined cables supports the glass wall units. These walls are further secured with Novum’s Corner Clamped Glass System.

The atrium contains 4,488 m² of insulating, laminated glass that is comprised of 1,147 irregularly shaped segments, each weighing between 272 to 363 kg. The primary rectangular glass panels on the roof are 53 mm thick. The wall panels are 45 mm thick.

Program Used for Structural Analysis

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