Henry Timms, President and CEO of Lincoln Center, and Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic unveiled plans for the reimagination of David Geffen Hall, by Diamond Schmitt Architects.
New to the architectural team is Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects │ Partners, who will design all of the public spaces, alongside acoustician Paul Scarbrough of Akustiks, and theater designer Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs Associates.
The $550 million project, of which $360 million has already been raised, will transform the concert hall and all public spaces to enhance the concert going experience.
The team will create a more intimate performance venue with state-of-the-art acoustics and artistic flexibility to present orchestra concerts, solo performances, multimedia presentations, and movie screenings.
The rebuilt concert hall introduces a “single-room” concept, eliminating the proscenium and moving the stage forward by 25 feet, with audience seating wrapped around it, bringing all seats closer to the performers.
Natural wood and curvilinear forms create an immersive experience that transforms the room into a contemporary, sculpted design.
Seating capacity will be reduced by 500 seats to 2,200, and a steeper rake (incline) will be added to the orchestra level, significantly improving acoustics and sightlines. The Hall will also have improved ADA accessibility.
“As a veteran of two major concert hall projects, I can say that the clear goals, the rigorous planning, and the actual design for the new David Geffen Hall give me confidence that this will be a singular success. The partnership we have formed with Lincoln Center is very real and very critical to all that is occurring. At long last, David Geffen Hall will be a superb and connected musical venue,” said Borda.
David Geffen Hall’s main lobby will double in size and open up on three sides to connect with the campus.
A new Welcome Center on Broadway will offer a portal to Lincoln Center for the public while Union Square Hospitality Group serves as consultants for food and beverage planning, which will include a destination eatery for informal and casual dining throughout the day and after concerts.
At the core of the new lobby will be a media streaming wall, which can show concerts and events in real time as well as other digital formats.
The reconfigured and reenergized Grand Promenade will create one of the largest spaces for entertaining at a performance facility in New York City, welcoming over 1,000 people for an event.
During performances, there will be expanded intermission seating and bar/food service, including access to the terrace and new promontories overlooking the main level.
A dynamic new addition is The Sidewalk Studio, visible from the street on the corner of 65th Street and Broadway, which will be a home for educational, artistic, and community activities.
The Lightwall will wrap around three sides of the interior top of the building, and 11 thousand square feet of office space will be located behind it.
The entire North Façade of the building will be reimagined as a “canvas” on which to commission site-specific works, honoring Lincoln Center’s long tradition in the visual arts. All of this will be accomplished while respecting the original Max Abramovitz building exterior.
“This project is all about greater connections,” said Timms. “The new concert hall will unite performers and audiences; the dynamic public spaces will allow our communities — from visiting schools to concertgoers wanting to stay for a drink — to connect with each other. And the whole project re-sets how we engage with the outside world.”
The new Hall will open in March 2024.