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New David Geffen Hall Opens in Manhattan

October 11, 2022
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Thornton Tomasetti
From left, Managing Principal Eli Gottlieb, Senior Project Engineer Jamie Kirkland, Senior Engineer Sarah Freiheit, Senior Project Engineers Benedetto Argento and Ryan Cattanach, and Thornton Tomasetti alum Christian DeFazio. Thornton Tomasetti
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Thornton Tomasetti

It was curtain up this past weekend at the new David Geffen Hall at New York City’s famed Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The iconic performing arts theater recently underwent a $550-million revitalization project aimed at modernizing the hall’s 306,000-square-foot interior space and improving the concert-going experience. A “Hard Hat Thank You Concert” for the project team was held on Friday, Oct. 7, one day before officially opening to the public.

“It was amazing to see the hall bustling with activity and hear how much the orchestra enjoys the new space,” Managing Principal Eli Gottlieb said. “The project was incredibly challenging technically and from a scheduling standpoint, especially working during a pandemic, but the care and creativity that the entire team put into this effort enabled us to create something incredibly special.”

Thornton Tomasetti provided structural design and connection engineering services to the Lincoln Center Development Project. Diamond Schmitt oversaw the redesign of the concert hall while Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects designed the new public spaces. In addition to greatly improved acoustics, the new Wu Tsai Theater’s curvilinear shape allows for unobstructed views from every seat. By reducing the number of seats to 2,200 from the previous 2,738, eliminating the proscenium and moving the stage forward 25 feet, patrons are now closer to the stage. The reimagined public spaces include a new entrance with improved vertical circulation and accessibility, an expanded main lobby and a large media wall. The project was completed some two years ahead of schedule and on budget. Now that deserves a standing ovation!