Visitor Center At Lincoln Center

by | 08. Aug 2012

Cultural | Extention/ redesign | Feature

Rendering courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects


Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has unveiled the design for the new Visitor Center, a privately owned public space (POPS) adjacent to Lincoln Center that will be transformed into a lively community gathering place and gateway to the performing arts campus.

Central to the design is the play of natural and enhanced light. Illumination from the marquees at the entrances on Broadway and Columbus Avenue are punctuated by large openings to the sky. A light-reflecting surface on the pavement below will create a literal aura of light, welcoming people into the space.

Inside, similar openings in the ceiling will flood the space with light during the day. Atmospheric lighting at night will create an ideal setting for intimate pre- and post-concert group gatherings.

Working with Pentagram, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects will use the north wall of the atrium as a dramatic location for digitally projected images and information.
A signature feature will be a centralized box office that, for the first time, will enable audiences to purchase same-day tickets.


Rendering courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Two 20-foot-high plant walls consisting of ferns, bromeliads, moss and flowering vines, flanked by two stone benches and alcove seating, will create an indoor garden sanctuary. Complementing the green walls will be a prominent water element, incorporating rods of water falling from the ceiling to the floor, as well as tables and chairs designed for various seating configurations.

Formerly known as the Harmony Atrium, the space, located between Broadway and Columbus Avenue, between 62nd and 63rd Streets, will extend the threshold of Lincoln Center as part of an overall revitalization initiative to renovate, modernize and open up the 16-acre campus.

The design is intended to convert the Harmony Atrium into a generous and light filled portal to the artistic, cultural and daily life of the West Side. This indoor landscape will be a serene public meeting place for New York City, animated by the sound of water from a cascading fountain and the fresh green scent of the planted walls. Natural light will enter the atrium through sculptural openings in the ceiling, and stone floors and green marble benches will lend a sense of dignity and permanence.
/Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

Rendering courtesy Tod Williams Billie Tsien ArchitectsCross Section looking south


Rendering by Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Beyer Blinder Belle

An important new resource for neighbors, visitors, students and Lincoln Center patrons, the redesigned atrium will boast an inviting platform for free weekly performances and civic events, a staffed visitor services information desk, free internet access, and a full-service café. It also will serve as the departure point for tours of Lincoln Center’s halls and public spaces, and will disseminate information on neighborhood and community events.

Plans for a new micro-park designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with Beyer Blinder Belle have also been released.  This urban grove, at 62nd Street across from the new visitor center, will create a more inviting entrance at the southeast portion of the campus and will provide a shaded and quiet place to congregate. It will be one of many new public spaces on the transformed Lincoln Center campus to relax.


CITY New York, New York
ARCHITECT Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects