Gallery: Diller Scofidio & Renfro’s Lincoln Center Grassy Remodel Opens...

The center's new look is futuristic without lacking elegance.

Lincoln Center and its facelift reflect the place’s history: 17 blocks of occupied tenements were torn down to build the altar of high culture in the 1950s. The original design sheltered the center from its still ostensibly dicey environment. Ouroussoff faults Diller Scofidio & Renfro for “a surprising insensitivity to the way bodies flow through space” that may simply be the continuation of a problem in the compound’s DNA. The cultural institutions housed in Lincoln Center also failed to agree on a vision for the redesign, limiting the architects to small-scale changes in the plaza spaces and reflecting pool.

The 7,203-square-foot lawn, called the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Lawn, isn’t a garden for the people — it’s an elevated island of turf. But it will bring in a stream of New Yorkers who might not otherwise patronize Lincoln Center, giving them a rare opportunity to enjoy grass and sun in the concrete jungle. The lawn curves upward at the edges, allowing climbers a brief moment to forget the city completely. The lawn is a first step towards greener urbanism taking root in the epicenter of Robert Moses’s mid-20th-century vision.

The new space will be open to the public from 7 a.m. to midnight, April through November.

+ Diller Scofidio & Renfro


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  1. Mexico Unveils Gigantic... August 9, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    […] It seats 45,000 and tucks away 8,500 parking spaces under the hillside, which will be open as public parkland when there’s no match on. (As grass and trees grow in, it will be a little more appealing […]

  2. Elsie St. Leger July 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    After visiting Berlin’s Cultural Forum, I have a newfound appreciation for Lincoln Center. Although it was first meant as an island of culture in an urban jungle, little by little it has claimed its place in the urban grid. Diller Scofidio & Renfro are working within the tight parameters the Lincoln Center often presents to its partners and the public. And in true New York style, the design firm has made a green mountain out of a disjointed molehill. Good job.

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