An opening ceremony was held in Washington on Sunday 8 September 2019 to celebrate the launch of the REACH, a revolutionary extension of the Kennedy Center for the Arts. The project was also supported by Czech entrepreneur Karel Komárek and his wife Štěpánka.
The purpose of the project was to enlarge the Kennedy Center's main building by the addition of a new complex that would break down the boundaries between audience and art, allowing anyone interested in art to reach back and connect with the artists who created it.
Worth close to $250 million, the project was financed fully from private sources. The benefactors who contributed to the project include prominent American entrepreneurs and philanthropists, most notably David Rubenstein, Jacqueline Mars, Michael Neidorf, and Stephen Schwarzman. Other donors who supported the project with an important contribution include Karel and Štěpánka Komárek.
"On the whole, the REACH is a fascinating undertaking. It is a project that eliminates the boundaries between the artist and the audience. It features a timeless minimalist architectural design whose variability provides room for both traditional and contemporary art forms. And perhaps also for brand new ones, the shape of which we are unable to fathom today. I want to emphasize that the project has been financed fully from private sources," explained Karel Komárek, adding, "It would be great if we build a similar center in Prague, inspired by the REACH project and its philosophy."
The REACH consists of interconnected visually striking pavilions, that contain three theaters with ingeniously located overlooks and pathways that allow the public to observe the entire creative process and artistic creation firsthand, as it happens. Two multipurpose spaces for events, three classrooms, and a specialized training laboratory will hold a large variety of events, ranging from chamber performances and summer art camps to film screenings. Outside, visitors can spend time in an area with abundant greenery, designed specifically for relaxation and various community programs.
The complex was designed by Steven Holl Architects, whose portfolio includes the design of the new Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra building in Ostrava, Czech Republic.