Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts & Arts District Garage Kansas City, Missouri

The Kauffman Center is one of the most technically and architecturally-advanced performing arts centers in the nation—and built in a landscape setting of equal acclaim. The 285,000 square-foot Center for the Performing Arts includes two separate halls: the more intimate 1,600 seat Helzberg Hall and the grand 1,800 seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Both are housed within a dramatic overarching structure designed by noted architect Moshe Safdie. The structure features large class curtain walls overlooking a green roof and the skyline of Kansas City.

The Arts District Garage is a 1,000-car underground parking structure attached to the Kauffman Center. The green roof atop both structures is designed as a 2.63-acre open-space park with the distinction of being the first and largest permitted green roof stormwater detention facility in the State of Missouri.

JBC was involved from project inception as a contributor to the program development for the combined and connected facilities. Collaborating together with Safdie Architects and Reed Hilderbrand, JBC worked in partnership to support the overall site design, pavements, walls, plantings, furnishings, green roof, and water harvesting systems. The scale of the Center for the Performing Arts is large enough that it required a strong landscape architectural response with large-scale slopes and big, bold plantings to complement the building.

By integrating the green roof project into the stormwater management solution, JBC was able to justify its cost and inclusion in the site program. Now a model for performing arts center nationwide, the Kaufmann Center’s green roof serves as a stormwater collection and detention system with the capability of collecting and detaining excess stormwater and routing it into underground cisterns for storage.



  • PAC Improvement District | Kansas City, MO

  • Safdie Architects | Boston, MA

  • Reed Hilderbrand Associates | Watertown, MA

  • BNIM Architects | Kansas City, MO

  • Moody Nolan Architects | Columbus, OH

  • Carl Walker, Inc. | Indianapolis, IN

Site Features 

  • Water harvested from green roof used for site irrigation

  • Reinforced lawn for large gatherings

  • Public urban park

  • Lightweight soils for green roof



  • 2013 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities | National Award of Excellence

  • 2013 American Council of Engineering Companies | Grand Conceptor Award Winner

  • 2013 American Society of Irrigation Consultants | Excellence in Irrigation Honor Award

  • 2013 American Society of Landscape Architects/Prairie Gateway | Award of Excellence

  • 2012 Urban Land Institute | Kansas City Chapter Developments of Distinction Award

  • 2012 Kansas City Business Journal Capstone Awards | Special Judges Recognition