The REACH expansion at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has opened in Washington DC, US.

Designed by Steven Holl Architects, this addition is expected to secure LEED Gold and will serve as a living theatre, learning centre and public arts hub.

Anchored by three signature pavilions stretching across a green lawn overlooking the Potomac River, the REACH connects the landscape and the river.

The Welcome Pavilion, Skylight Pavilion and River Pavilion extend the nearby main building and connect together underground.

Defined by natural light, clean lines and open space, this facility offers studios, classrooms and several multi-use public spaces.

In order to support the architectural vision and meeting sustainability targets, consultancy and design services provider Arup collaborated to develop a building systems strategy that optimises energy performance.

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The strategy includes several performance-boosting technologies such as a closed-loop, ground-source heat rejection system, temperature controls and floor heating.

Arup project director and principal for REACH Gregory Giammalvo said: “The Kennedy Center has been an important cultural touchstone for half a century and we’re thrilled to be a part of the design team to help shape the future of this landmark institution.”

Arup was also involved in creating some other signature features such as an under-floor, concrete trench system and void slab design.