Heatherwick Studio and Diamond Schmitt Architects have been selected to lead the $500 million redesign of David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center’s largest concert hall. The two firms beat out over 100 architecture firms in a two-year competition and will replace the previous proposal by Fosters + Partners, which was scrapped after the New York Philharmonic’s board struggled to raise funds. The new redesigned hall will be gutted and the interior upgraded to better serve the orchestra and community events.
Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the David Geffen Hall was designed by Max Abramovitz and opened in 1962 under the name Philharmonic Hall, later renamed Avery Fisher Hall in 1973. The 2,738-seat concert hall was recently renamed after David Geffen in 2015, when the entertainment mogul donated $100 million to the building’s fundraising campaign for renovations. Though Abramovitz’s original facades will remain intact, the selected design team is expected to completely gut and reconfigure the interior.
“The New York Philharmonic creates some of the most incredible music in the world,” Mr. Heatherwick said in a statement, “so it deserves a world-class concert hall.” According to the New York Times, Heatherwick has limited experience in designing major public buildings, but has won world renown for his many experimental projects such as the British pavilion at Shanghai’s 2010 World Expo and the controversial Garden Bridge project in London.
“The inspiring combination of Heatherwick and Diamond Schmitt will bring contemporary design excellence, respect for the historic architecture of the hall, and extensive experience creating acoustically superb performance halls,” said Katherine Farley, chairman of Lincoln Center. The design team is in charge of the last piece of the Lincoln Center campus, the recent overhaul of which was led by local firm Diller Scofidio & Renfro. Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2019 and take about 30 months. Designs will be released next summer.
Via The New York Times