Concrete is the material of choice for many architects and structural designers because of the vast spectrum of alternatives it offers. No other modern construction material can so readily assume all the forms, colors, and textures that the designer can conceive in concrete. And the plasticity of concrete frees designers to translate the forms they visualize into enduring reality, free of post and beam limitations. Concrete also offers the utilitarian advantages of strength, endurance, and economy. Frank Lloyd Wright liked to describe the special characteristics of reinforced concrete by folding his hands tightly together, then trying to pull them apart. "The steel strands are there to resist tension," he would say, "and the concrete resists compression. Together the two can resist stresses from any source." Other architects and structural designers have chosen concrete for these same reasons, as well as for its durability, thermal efficiency, and sound attenuation. In the wake of such recent natural disasters as wild fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, both designers and the public are taking a new look at concrete's unfailing strength and stability. Some architects also consider concrete's speed of construction and the opportunity concrete offers to use local labor and materials as important advantages.