Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

RAFAEL VINOLY ARCHITECTS

60 m barrel vault – Building structure including glass and steel roof and cable walls.

The end walls and roof of the Kimmel Centre were designed to achieve maximum transparency using minimal structure. The roof structure spanning 60m was designed as a folded plate Vierendeel trussed barrel vault and the laminated glass panels were installed as unitised system.

For the semi circular end walls the 1.2 m wide x 1.5m high laminated low iron glass panels are connected with small cast stainless steel patch fittings to the 19mm diameter cables which in turn are tensioned by suspending cast iron weights from the bottom of the cables. With DMP taking design responsibility for the structural design the wall was constructed for around 50% of the cost of a more familiar glass fin or cable truss solution.

Budget $238m
Completed 2001