Home & Design
EN+21090913_The REACH Festival Friday_PC NKarlin-838-3637_PC NKarlin
EN+21090913_The REACH Festival Friday_PC NKarlin-838-3637_PC NKarlin

The Reach, now part of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. © Nicholas Karlin.

Performance Art

A long-awaited expansion of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts rolled out amid much fanfare in September. The imposing original building—an icon on the DC skyline for 48 years—is joined by a sprawling 72,000-square-foot complex housing much-needed rehearsal studios, classrooms and informal performance venues. In keeping with its venerable neighbor, the new structure also honors John F. Kennedy, taking its name—the Reach—from a quote by the 35th president: “I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings,” which speaks to the strength and power of cultural and artistic enrichment.

Designed by New York-based Steven Holl Architects on four-and-a-half landscaped acres, the Reach comprises three geometric, interconnected pavilions made of titanium-white concrete and glass. Because the pavilions nestle into the downward slope leading to the Potomac River, the interiors are largely subterranean—though skylights, cutouts and window walls bathe them in light. The pavilions shape the outdoor spaces around them, framing views of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Potomac River.

A landscaped plaza (above) features a grove of 35 ginkgo trees and a reflecting pool. This space is slated for outdoor concerts and screenings, which will be projected onto a wall of the largest pavilion. Green roofs connect the structures and a pedestrian bridge spans Rock Creek Parkway, connecting the Kennedy Center and the Potomac riverfront for the first time.

Architecture: Steven Holl Architects, New York, New York. Landscape Architecture: Hollander Design Landscape Architects, New York, New York. Contractor: Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Baltimore, Maryland.

You may also like:

History Reborn
A design team creates a modern dwelling that respects its humble origins as a 1910 carriage house
Private Haven
A design team instills a new Bethesda home with light, order and a sense of calm
New Chapter
A thoughtful renovation revives a storied Northwest DC abode while retaining its vintage appeal
HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

Stay Connected with HOME & DESIGN Newsletter

Copyright © 2024 Home & Design. All rights reserved. | Back to top