April 13, 2004
Images courtesy Lincoln Center
For The Performing Arts
New Yorks Lincoln Center today
unveiled Diller Scofidio + Renfros design for its first
phase of redevelopment, sharing a futuristic image, infused
with mid-century modern, for its spaces around West 65th Street
in Manhattan. The performing arts center has re-dubbed the
area a new "Street of the Arts."
Plans, which have been conceived over
the last several months, include major renovations and expansions
of the areas streetscape, public spaces, and virtually
all of its cultural facilities. Total cost is projected at
The redesign of 65th street itself will
include new transparent building facades, dramatic lighting,
narrowing of the street from three to two lanes, and the removal
of underground parking entrances. Enhancements to the North
Plaza public space will include a new sloping "campus
green" built on the roof of a restaurant, the enlargement,
sloping, and re-surfacing of the famous reflecting pool, and
a closely clipped bosque of trees, reminiscent of those in
many French gardens, next to the pool.
Facilities improvements include expansion
of The Julliard School, a redesign of Alice Tully Hall, a
completely new facility for the Film Society of Lincoln Center,
an expansion of the Lincoln Center Theater, and a redesign
of the Samuel B. and David Rose Building (including a new
glass entry and lobby).
The overall design concept, conceived
in collaboration with Fox and Fowle Architects, displays Diller
Scofidio + Renfros (formerly just Diller + Scofidio)
gift for maximizing transparency and fluidity in a context
that harkens to the classic modern style in which Lincoln
Center was built.
"Theres something really interesting,
even magical, about this 60s architecture. We wanted
to amplify its most successful features and fulfill its unrealized
potential," said firm principal Elizabeth Diller. Added
Scofidio: "Theres a real history here. It shouldnt
Exceptional new design elements include
the North Plazas aforementioned roof garden, which cantilevers
over the street, in a "parabolic" shape; light "mats"
and LEDs set in the sidewalks; and Alice Tully Halls
new glass entrance, whose roof shoots skyward at an abrupt
angle and includes a donor facility that is suspended in glass
above the Halls inner lobby.
"Its really amazing that theyve
let us do all of this," Diller added, smiling.
The spaces around 65th street make up
one half of Lincoln Centers total area. Designs for
the second phase of redevelopment, on Lincoln Centers
south side (including the Metropolitan Opera and the Grand
Plaza) will likely be unveiled in about a year, said Diller
Scofidio + Renfro principal Ricardo Scofidio.
While Lincoln Center is now embarking
on a $325 million capital campaign to help pay for the project,
much of the funding will come from New York City. Facing potential
criticism of increasing expenditures on public projects, Mayor
Michael Bloomberg noted: "There will always be a reason
why not, but the bottom line is, if you study forever, you
Construction is expected to begin in