David Geffen Hall

The Akustiks team provided the acoustic and audio video design in reimagining David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, which is nothing less than a complete building transformation. The concert hall was stripped to the structural frame, creating a completely new auditorium and stage. The new concert hall moves the stage forward some 25 feet, allowing the audience to wrap around to the sides and rear of the orchestra platform. The result is a hall where everyone is much closer to the musicians on stage, lending greater acoustic and visual intimacy to the experience. The walls of the concert hall are finished in wood, which has been carefully detailed to enhance the hall’s resonance, particularly at bass frequencies, creating a richer, more visceral connection to the music. The visual warmth of the wood panels is complemented by their shaping, which is driven by acoustical prerogatives and gives the room a luxurious sculptural quality. The renewed concert hall seats 2,200 people, a reduction of over 500 seats, striking an optimal balance between acoustics and seating capacity. In the process, subtle but important improvements have been made to sightlines in the hall, with a particular focus on the orchestra floor. And in a move harkening back to the original 1962 Philharmonic Hall, the curving geometry of the seating on the orchestra floor and in the balconies has been restored, returning a sensual quality that this mid-century modern landmark originally featured. In addition to the work in the concert hall, public spaces throughout the building have been reconceived to craft a more gracious patron experience from the moment you enter the building to the instant you arrive at your seat for the performance. The forced closure of Geffen Hall by the pandemic allowed Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic to accelerate the construction process. The transformed David Geffen Hall welcomed musicians and audiences in the Fall of 2022, nearly two years earlier than initially planned.

Project Location: New York, NY

Client Name: Lincoln Center + New York Philharmonic

Project Name: David Geffen Hall

Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects / Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Theatre Consultant: Fisher Dachs Associates

Project Year: 2022

Project Size: 242,000 sq ft

Project Cost: US$550,000,000


Photos © Michael Moran / Photos by Max Touhey

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