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Diamond Schmitt wins David Geffen Hall project

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Heatherwick Studio and Diamond Schmitt Architects have been selected as the architecture team to lead the renovation and transformation of David Geffen Hall, the largest concert hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, home of the New York Philharmonic.

The two firms were chosen following a two-year competition involving several of the world’s leading architecture and design firms. A committee of representatives from the Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic evaluated over 100 firms before selecting the winning team.

“The inspiring combination of Heatherwick and Diamond Schmitt will bring contemporary design excellence, respect for the historic architecture of the hall and extensive experience creating acoustically superb performance halls,” said Katherine Farley, chairman of the Lincoln Center, in a press release.

“We believe this pairing of Heatherwick and Diamond Schmitt offers the most compelling potential for the New York Philharmonic’s new home that will reflect the excellence and artistry of this Orchestra, as well as further enhance and support the Philharmonic’s evolution as a 21st-century institution,” said Oscar S. Schafer, chairman of the New York Philharmonic.

Heatherwick Studio has several large-scale projects to its name, including a master plan for the new Google campus in Silicon Valley (with BIG), while Diamond Schmitt Architects has designed over 40 performing arts venues around the world. Other firms with a hand in the redesign include Akustiks, an acoustic design firm, and theater design firm Fisher Dachs.

Other than acting as a home for the Philharmonic, the new David Geffen Hall will be designed to take part in several other ongoing community activities and events. Construction is expected to start in 2019, with preliminary costs estimated at $500 million.

“Diamond Schmitt Architects and Heatherwick Studio have demonstrated a keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges of imagining a music hall for the 21st century, including evolving audience expectations,” said Jed Bernstein, president of Lincoln Center. “Together, Lincoln Center, the Philharmonic and our partners share a vision for a hall with a more expansive role as a cultural and educational center for New Yorkers and visitors alike. That exciting vision is now one big step closer to realization.”

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