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Monday, July 21, 2008

Visitor Center at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, United States

Design unveiled for Visitor Center at Lincoln Center
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts today unveiled the design for its new Visitor Center. Designed by New York architects Tod Williams Billie Tsien, the Center transforms the former Harmony Atrium, an indoor, underutilized, privately owned public space (POPS) located between Broadway and Columbus Avenue, into a vibrant community gathering space. Performances and civic events will be at the space which will also act as a gateway to the 16-acre arts complex, which is currently undergoing a multi-billion dollar transformation.

The 7,000 sq ft atrium is being transformed into a “theatrical garden” where residents and visitors can purchase discount theatre tickets, lounge and dine, and connect to the worldwide web. The design blurs the distinction between indoor and outdoor space. At the Center’s entrance on Broadway, is a large canopy that is treated with the same materials as the ceiling on inside of the space. Once inside, the space has been opened to the outdoors with large overhead “occuli” and two twenty foot high moss walls that constitute “the garden”. Stone benches made of Connemara Irish Moss marble contribute to the sense of a garden.

Complementing the green walls is prominent water element incorporating roads of water falling from ceiling to floor. Working with Pentagram, the architects have re-imagined the north wall of the atrium as a 40-foot long Media Wall for digitally projected images and information.

The project, which is currently in the public review process, is expected to open in the fall 2009, to coincide with Lincoln Center’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
architecture NOW

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