One of the design elements that visitors will likely notice right away is the “crinkle concrete” that lines the walls in several performance spaces. It’s a material developed by Steven Holl Architects specifically for the Kennedy Center expansion.

For the Reach, the architects looked for ways to use concrete—acoustically and aesthetically—that haven’t been tried before.Garrick Ambrose, a senior associate at Steven Holl Architects and project architect for the Reach, talked to CityLab about these novel applications of an ancient building material.Can you explain the basic structure of the Reach?

The floors, the ceiling, the walls, the exterior facades are made out of cast-in-place concrete, which is a liquid material poured into forms that give you the final end product. The material goes from liquid state, hardens, and goes into a solid material state—that’s the actual structure of the building that holds everything up.