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Diamond Schmitt and TWBTA reveal new Geffen Hall revamp plans

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The auditorium is recalibrated to deliver improved sightlines, audience comfort, and superb acoustics from every seat in the house.
– Gary McCluskie

The New York Philharmonic has unveiled plans for the revamp of David Geffen Hall with Diamond Schmitt and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) designs aimed at fostering a sense of community and connecting it to the world outside.

The $550m (€496m, £418m) project was initially to be led by Heatherwick Studio before those plans were dropped.

The new plans will see Diamond Schmitt reconfigure the concert hall, which is based at New York's Lincoln Center, while 2019 Praemium Imperiale prize winners TWBTA will develop the public spaces.

The project will see the creation of a more intimate performance venue with improved acoustics and flexibility for presenting orchestra concerts, solo performances, multimedia presentations and movie screenings.

The hall's proscenium will be removed to create a more unified space, with the stage moved 25ft (8m) closer to the audience and seating wrapped around it.

Seating capacity will actually be reduced by 500 seats to 2,200, but a steeper rake will be introduced at the orchestra level to improve acoustics and sightlines.

Natural wood and curvilinear forms will contribute to a "contemporary, sculpted design".

Gary McCluskie, principal architect at Diamond Schmitt, said: "The new concert hall will be intimate, immersive, and adaptable to host a range of performances of classical compositions and innovative programming. The auditorium is recalibrated to deliver improved sightlines, audience comfort, and superb acoustics from every seat in the house."

The public spaces, meanwhile, will be reworked to provide better opportunities for people to gather and connect.

The main lobby will double in size and have a media streaming wall installed for showing concerts and events in real-time.

There will be a new Welcome Center for the public and a reconfigured Grand Promenade will be able to host up to 1,000 people at events.

There will also be a new restaurant and a new studio space for educational, artistic and community activities.

Tod Williams, co-founder of TWBTA, said: "By reorganizing and reconceiving the concert hall and its public spaces, the interiors of David Geffen Hall will be unified and invigorated. The result will be an experience that is warm, captivating, and exciting."

The new hall is scheduled to open in March 2024, with two closures from May 2022 to October 2022 and from May 2023 to February 2024.

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The New York Philharmonic has unveiled plans for the revamp of David Geffen Hall with Diamond Schmitt and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA) designs aimed at fostering a sense of community and connecting it to the world outside.
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