01/30/2013 01:16 pm ET Updated Jan 31, 2013

The Kennedy Center's $100 Million Expansion Plans Include A Performance Space Floating On The Potomac (PHOTOS)

WASHINGTON -- The Kennedy Center is expanding onto the Potomac -- literally. The $100 million expansion plan, the Kennedy Center's first structural expansion since its 1971 opening, includes an outdoor performance space floating on the river.

Click through the slideshow for artists renderings of the Kennedy Center Expansion -- story continues below...

Kennedy Center Expansion

According to the Kennedy Center's website, the expansion -- half of which is to be funded by chairman David M. Rubenstein -- "will add much needed education and rehearsal space to the south end of the Kennedy Center grounds. Public access spaces will include gardens, an outdoor video wall for simulcast performances, and an outdoor performance space on the Potomac River."

Ground is expected to be broken in 2016, with the project completed in 2018, according to the New York Times.

The Times has more about what architect Steven Holl is planning:

Mr. Holl’s initial concept — a formal design will be created in the coming months — features three connected pavilions south of the existing building, amounting to 60,000 square feet.

The board was particularly taken by the design’s orientation to the Potomac, since President Kennedy had expressed a strong affinity for water. Mr. Holl said this was deliberate. “My first sketch was to make a connection to the river,” he said. “The original Edward Durrell Stone design was connected to the river.”

One pavilion will float on the Potomac and include an outdoor stage. The exteriors will use translucent Okalux, an insulating glass that diffuses light. “It glows like a Japanese lantern,” Mr. Holl said of the material. He also used the same Italian Carrara marble that cloaks the original building.

To avoid interrupting the current center’s silhouette, the new structure will connect to it underground and via the main plaza.

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