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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Alice Tully Hall, New York, United States

Alice Tully Hall proves to be a showstopper
The re-design of Alice Tully Hall is intended to transform the venue from a good multi-purpose hall into a premiere chamber music venue with street identity and upgraded functionality for all performance needs. Tucked under The Juilliard School, the opaque base of Pietro Belluschi's building is stripped away to reveal the hall's outer shell. The sloped underside of Juilliard's expansion serves as the canopy framing the hall, its expanded lobby and box office. A shear one-way cable net glass façade puts the hall on display.

A commonly held opinion about the hall interior is that it lacks intimacy, a quality most valued for a chamber music venue. “Intimacy” is interpreted as an acoustic and visual pursuit. A partial box-in-box construction isolates the hall from the vibration from the 7th Avenue subway and a new high performance inner liner is acoustically engineered to distribute sound evenly throughout the house. The liner of African moabi is tailored around all existing hall features and new programmatic elements, eliminating all visual noise that distracts the audience from the performance. Illumination emerges from the wood skin much the way a bioluminescent marine organism exudes an internal glow.

A percentage of the wood liner is constructed of translucent custom-molded resin panels surfaced in veneer to match and blend seamlessly with the wood, binding the house and stage with light. Like the raising of a chandelier or the parting of a curtain signaling the start of performance, the blush will be part of the performance choreography; a hush will fall in the seconds of transition from distraction to attention when the blushing walls will be the first performer.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFOWLE Architects
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