Lincoln Center's Concert Hall Dazzles

Renovation at Lincoln Center slices open old building
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2009 10:32 AM CST
A view from inside the lobby of the refurbished Alice Tully Theater at Lincoln Center in New York shows towering vistas of the Upper West Side neighborhood in New York Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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(Newser) – While cities from LA to Copenhagen have unveiled stunning new concert halls in recent years, New York's Lincoln Center complex "seemed mired in indecision." But Alice Tully Hall, one of the center's smaller spaces, reopens to the public Sunday with a bold new design by the architects Diller Scofidio & Renfro. For New York Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff, the refashioned concert hall is "a revelation" that "gleefully carves up" the original building.

Instead of knocking down the 1969 original, the architects have cut into it to create a new lobby with street exposure, "suggesting the building has been sliced open with a can opener." The concert hall itself, with glowing LED lights beneath a super-thin wood veneer, "could have been designed by Apple technicians." Most importantly, writes Ouroussoff, the glass walls and outdoor seating offer "a clear-cut defense of the public realm, something we could use more of in this age of corporate privatization."