Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall Renovation Competition (Interior Design)
New York, U.S.A.
Total Floor Area: 32,600 sqm
Architectural Design: Richard Meier
The concert hall is like a musical instrument, with sound reverberating inside.
The "shoebox" is a type of hall that developed in the 19th Century, and examples of shoebox halls are renowned for their fine acoustic qualities. Inthe 20th Century, the "vineyard" and "arena" types of concert halls provided a greater number of seats in a more relaxed and comfortable setting, with improved sightlines. For the New Avery Fisher Hall, we propose a hybrid of the shoebox, vineyard and multi-form arena types, as a new type of hall for the 21st Century.
The traditional shoebox hall has the stage at one end and all of the seats are opposite it. However, when a shoebox hall becomes larger than 1500 seats, it begins to lose its acoustic quality and the sightlines to the stage become too long. To address these problems in larger halls, the arena type uses a more central stage position to reduce the length of sightlines, and the vineyard's terracing seats use many short walls throughout the hall to reflect sound locally.
The New Avery Fisher Hall is shaped as a shoebox, with vertical, parallel walls to provide the basic desired acoustic qualities. The upper two tiers use the traditional shoebox configuration with side balconies and tiers opposite the stage. In the Orchestra Level and First Tier, low walls are introduced among the seating as in the vineyard type hall, to create local sound reflections to compensate for the increased size. Also, the stage is moved away from the end of the shoebox, with chorus seating located behind it, to reduce the distance between the stage and the most remote seats.