The extensive interior renovations to the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center began with development of a master plan to address ADA issues for the mid-1960s iconic building at Lincoln Center. Public areas, including the garage entrance/drop-off, Newhouse and Theatre lobbies, toilets, auditoriums and shared ticket lobby, were evaluated to determine appropriate solutions for code compliance. Our design included a new vehicular and pedestrian entrance and the renovation of existing facilities, including integration of new technological systems and new mechanical, electrical and acoustical systems.
Having unsuccessfully attempted to put a third theater in many locations within the existing Lincoln Center complex, the theater’s board of directors agreed that the only suitable location for the small-scale addition is on the roof of the Beaumont. With 23,000 square feet of space and 112 seats, the new performance venue complements the scale of LCT’s existing venues and offers a practical way to present new ideas to smaller audiences.
Respecting the rigorousness of Saarinen’s design, the design is contained in a simple rectangular volume that expresses the building’s armature and the giant 20-foot concrete Vierndeel trusses that support it. During the day, the addition appears only subtly at various points on the plaza. At night, the new volume appears to float above the existing roof, complementing the newly restored lighting in the cantilevered coffered ceiling that spans the Beaumont Theater.