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2014 MCHAP

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Redevelopment

Diller Scofidio + Renfro

New York, NY, USA



Diller Scofidio + Renfro


FXFOWLE ARCHITECTS, LLP (Associate Architect, 65th Street and Hearst Plaza Public Spaces, Infoscape, Hypar Pavilion, The Juilliard School Expansion/Renovation, Alice Tully Hall Expansion/Renovation) Arup (Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineer) Tillotson Design Associates (Lighting) Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP (Associate Architect, South Campus Public Spaces & Josie Robertson Plaza) Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (Landscape) 2x4 (Graphics) JaffeHolden (Acoustics) L’Observatoire International (Lighting) Fisher Dachs Associates, Inc. (Theater Consultants) Ben Gilmartin (Project Leader) Kevin Rice (Project Leader) Gerard Sullivan (Project Leader)


Ron Austin, Executive Director, Lincoln Center Development Project


Iwan Baan Nanette Melville Matthew Monteith


Through a series of interventions, DS+R turned Lincoln Center inside-out by extending the spectacle within the performance halls into the public spaces and the surrounding streets. The range of scales for the project required an effort that dissolved boundaries between urban planning, architecture, landscape, and information design. The project necessitated an architectural strategy that would create a cultural destination for a diverse group of visitors, including students, tourists, regional and neighborhood residents. Outdoor spaces were redesigned to welcome the idea of public as audience. Improvements to the Columbus Avenue stairway and access road make the campus more approachable for pedestrians and vehicles. The new fountain at Josie Robertson Plaza anchors the central gathering space of the campus. At Hearst Plaza, DS+R aimed to fulfill the dual requirements of a destination restaurant and a public green in order to make best use of the limited open area. The result, Hypar Pavilion, is a twisted plane of lawn elevated to act as an occupiable green roof over the glass pavilion that holds Lincoln Ristorante. The resulting topography is oriented away from city noise and traffic to create a bucolic urbanism. Across the reflecting pool from Hypar, a bosque creates an informal outdoor room. Binding together the various campus projects, smart technologies were integrated with traditional building materials to deliver information throughout the campus. The “Infoscape,” a campus-wide electronic display system, delivers up-to-the-minute information and a 24/7 presence, allowing the character of individual organizations to coexist with a unified Lincoln Center identity.


Built in the 1960s by prominent modernist architects, Lincoln Center’s ensemble of buildings and public spaces were in need of a makeover, both physically and philosophically. While the plazas retained the magic of the pre-curtain events, the structures and spaces had become undersized and antiquated for present uses, and the original conception of an acropolis of the arts, elevated on a podium, had become disconnected from the city that had grown and diversified around it. The architectural challenge was to interpret the DNA of the 60s planning and architecture into a more engaged and democratic language that speaks to a diverse audience after several generations of cultural and political change without losing the iconic nature of the pre-theater spectacle. In effect, we wanted to make Lincoln Center more Lincoln Center than Lincoln Center. In order to address the off-putting ambiance of many of the campus’ outdoor spaces and historic detachment from the surrounding city streets, DS+R launched a public spaces project that surgically altered the campus across its 16 acres, creating a connective tissue that invited students, performers, and visitors to coexist in a vibrant and approachable environment. The edges of the campus were opened to the city and 65th street was converted from a service corridor to a “Street of the Arts”. The Juilliard School and Alice Tully Hall were renovated and enlarged to better engage the city. An ephemeral network of media content knits together the campus.


Lincoln Center’s redesigned public plazas have become popular hang-out spaces: visitors chat with friends on the LED grand staircase, play with their children near the redesigned fountain, and watch outdoor performances on the lawn of the Hypar Pavilion. The variety of interventions throughout the campus have provided the neighborhood with new amenities, enlivening the area with a renewed sense of vitality. The expansion and renovation of the Juilliard School features a new connection to 65th street through a street level entry and a redesigned east façade that organizes a system of circulation and public spaces, revealing school activities to the city. The redesigned building includes a variety of updated performance, rehearsal and lounge spaces as well as three teaching levels providing much-needed space to both students and faculty. Additional new features include a suspended dance studio visually linked to the street and a travertine façade blending the original and new architecture. This much-needed update has proved extremely popular for students, teachers, and the passers-by allowed to be spectators. The sloped underside of Julliard’s expansion serves as the canopy framing the Alice Tully Hall theatre and expanded lobby. The re-design has transformed the venue from a good multi-purpose hall into a premiere chamber music theater with street identity and upgraded functionality for all performance needs. A shear glass façade links activity on the street to activity in the lobby. Inside, custom millwork and high-performance engineering give the theater the acoustics and sense of intimacy that it previously lacked.

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