Dezeen Magazine

Thomas Heatherwick to redesign home of New York Philharmonic orchestra

London-based Heatherwick Studio and Canadian firm Diamond Schmitt have been selected to replace Foster + Partners on the overhaul of Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall, home to one of New York's leading orchestras.

The team will completely gut the symphonic hall, originally designed by mid-20th-century American architect Max Ambramovitz. Formerly known as Avery Fisher Hall, it was recently renamed for the entertainment mogul David Geffen following his $100 million donation to fund the project.

Foster + Partners originally won a competition to redesign the building in 2005, but the New York Philharmonic's board struggled to raise the $300 million construction cost. In 2012 it began looking for new proposals, and eventually evaluated more than 100 firms before settling on the Heatherwick and Diamond Schmitt team.

"The intersection of those firms is something we found incredibly compelling," Matthew VanBesien, president of the New York Philharmonic, told the New York Times. "I think these guys really get this."

The hall will be redesigned to better accommodate the orchestra as well as other community events. Construction will commence in 2019 and the total budget is expected to reach $500 million.

The project is the last piece of the Lincoln Center's campus revamp led by New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which was also part of the team behind New York's High Line elevated park project.

Thomas Heatherwick and Diamond Schmitt Architects to redesign home of New York Philharmonic

"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," said Jed Bernstein, president of Lincoln Center, in a statement. "That exciting vision is now one big step closer to realisation."

Developed in the 1960s, Lincoln Center is Manhattan's largest performing arts complex. It includes buildings by Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen, Pietro Belluschi, Wallace Harrison, and Gordon Bunshaft.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro have been charged with updating and overhauling the entire complex, with already completed projects including the Alice Tully Hall, the redesign of the centre's public spaces, and the Hypar Pavilion, a restaurant with a lawn for a roof that extends up from the ground to create a wedge-shaped building.

Heatherwick Studio, led by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, is currently working on a number of projects in the US. Its controversial New York pier park on the Hudson River is funded by another media mogul, Barry Diller.

The studio is also creating a large sculpture for the plaza at Hudson Yards, a large development on Manhattan's far west side, and is working with Danish firm BIG on the new headquarters for Google in Silicon Valley.

Foster + Partners lost another high-profile project in New York, the Two World Trade Centre skyscraper, to BIG earlier this year.

Images courtesy of the Lincoln Center.