Thomas Heatherwick took three strikes of bad luck in a row after scrapping his firm’s renovations of the David Geffen Hall at the Lincoln Center, New York.
The Lincoln Center along with the New York Philharmonic declared the cancellation of the $500 million-worth revamp of the orchestra’s home. The project was going to be a collaboration between the Canadian firm Diamond Schmitt Architects and Heatherwick studio.
The London-based Heatherwick firm also suffered two recent successive blows. The first was the cancellation of the Pier 55 scheme which was proposed for the city of New York. The second one was also the scrapping of Thomas Heatherwick’s design of the Garden Bridge in London.
Although the reason behind dropping the project are unknown, the drastic make-over the redesign involved would probably be it. An alternative project suggested that the renovations would be done in phases so that the concert hall won’t be closed for long.
“After a concentrated period of deep review and thoughtful evaluation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the New York Philharmonic have decided to re-envision the strategy that will steer the forthcoming renovations of David Geffen Hall,” the statement said.
“The two organizations will forgo the original design proposal, and instead move forward with a new masterplan – one that will be ambitious, but will center primarily on improving audience and artist experiences inside the hall, and will include phased renovations.”
The two organizations also added that they are “grateful to the early design team” for dissolving several technical and logistical issues the project has faced. In addition, the organizations highlighted the areas of most importance in the renovation process which included the concert hall. This comes in addition to enhancing acoustics and making changes to the public spaces and lobby areas.
David Geffen Hall was designed in the 1950s by the American architect Max Abramovitz. The hall, which opened in 1962, was previously called the Avery Fisher Hall. It includes an auditorium that can hold up to 2,738 spectators. In 2015, the auditorium’s name changed after David Geffen-the entertainment giant- donated $100 million for its redesign.
Heatherwick firm and Diamond Schmitt were selected in 2015 from 100 studios as a replacement of Foster + Partners. Matthew VanBesien, the president of the New York Philharmonic at the time, declared through the New York Times that “these guys get this”
The development of the Lincoln center took place in the 1960s and is the biggest complex for performing arts in Manhattan. It comprises buildings that were designed by several famous architects like Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, Pietro Belluschi, Gordon Bunshaft, and Wallace Harrison.
The revamp of the hall comes as a part of a bigger make-over plan which will include the whole complex. The complex overhaul will be managed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the New York-based practice.