Lincoln Center for the Peforming Arts | David Geffen Hall

Photo Credit: Michael Moran

Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic are planning a re-imagination of David Geffen Hall, formerly Avery Fisher Hall. The concert hall and all public spaces will be transformed, enhancing the concertgoing experience, fostering a sense of community, and creating bold and innovative ways to connect with the world outside.

Diamond Schmitt Architects will design the concert hall and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects will design all of the public spaces. The team will create a more intimate venue with state-of-the-art acoustics and flexibility to present orchestra concerts, solo performances, multimedia presentations, and movie screenings. With the new hall at the building’s heart, all public spaces will be reconceived to provide better opportunities for people to gather and connect.

The new hall introduces a “single-room” concept, eliminating the proscenium and moving the stage forward by 25 feet, with audience seating wrapped around it, bringing all seats closer to the performers and providing acoustical and visual intimacy. The new hall’s variable stage configurations are designed to support a wide range of performance initiatives.

Renovations of David Geffen Hall

Avery Fisher Hall – Mostly Mozart Festival ( Completion: 2005)

The temporary transformation for the Mostly Mozart Festival was first unveiled in August 2005 and has been repeated, to critical and popular acclaim, to the present day. A temporary stage installation designed specifically for the Festival places audience members onstage, both on the sides and behind the musicians. The transformation is remarkable. The orchestra has been moved 30′ out into the hall on a platform that extends over what are normally the first eleven rows of seats. Where the stage used to be, and on both sides of the orchestra, there are now 250 seats in tiered rows facing the conductor.

A temporary canopy is suspended above the new orchestra location to provide acoustical reflections to help the musicians hear themselves, and visually reduces the height of the room. A new ring of silk-shaded lighting pendants and a bold red Brazilian bloodwood floor give the stage a warm gentle glow.

Acoustician: Jaffe Holden; Capacity: 2,750 seats

Avery Fisher Stage Renovation ( Completion: 1992)

In the 1991 renovation of the hall, new moveable reflecting surfaces designed as part of a renovation of on-stage acoustics (by Artec) required new stage lighting and rigging systems. To accommodate these new acoustical renovations, FDA redesigned, relocated, and re-installed new stage lighting and rigging systems.

The work was rapidly completed in time for the Philharmonic’s 150th Anniversary concert. Subsequently, the new lighting system was declared a stunning improvement, particularly for the musicians on stage who can now see their music much more effectively and can be seen by the audience in a more appropriate stage lighting environment.

Architect: John Burgee; Arch. of Record: SOM Architects; Acoustician: Artec; Capacity: 2,738 seats

  • Client: Lincoln Center Redevelopment
  • Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
  • Completion Year: 2022
  • Location: New York, New York
  • Acoustician: Akustiks
  • Capacity: 2,200 seats


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