The dual requirements of a destination restaurant and a public green within the limited open area of Lincoln Center’s North Plaza are satisfied in a single gesture sited between the reflecting pool and the plaza’s north edge. A twisted plane of lawn is elevated to act as an occupiable green roof over a glass pavilion restaurant.
Hypar PavilionThe hypar touches down at the SW corner plaza for access to the lawn and has two high points at SE and NW corners. The resulting topography is oriented away from city noise and traffic to create a bucolic urbanism. The contoured wood ceiling of the restaurant frames views to the plaza and the street. A split kitchen serves 160 diners and 40 at the bar.
Hypar PavilionThe new building replaces the southern edge of the former Milstein Bridge, the massive 200-foot-long overpass that dominated West Sixty-Fifth Street and linked the theaters to the main entrance of Juilliard on its north side. The Milstein Bridge served as Juilliard’s student outdoor campus.
Hypar PavilionIt also served as an acoustical buffer that sheltered Lincoln Center’s intimate public spaces from street noise. At the same time, they had to integrate the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s new theater complex into the podium below, as well as figure out how to bring a new destination restaurant to Lincoln Center.
Hypar PavilionThe architects opted to combine all three of these programs in a sectional relationship to one another. Concurrent with the design phase, the two firms worked with the city to reduce West Sixty-Fifth Street from three lanes to two and expand the sidewalk from 15 to 25 feet, so that they could create a gracious pedestrian esplanade.
Hypar PavilionAccording to DSR principal in charge Elizabeth Diller, “Between the street frontage for the restaurant and the ability to offset some of the noise coming into the plaza by the structure, it was absolutely the right place.” The intricate two-story pavilion straddles a newly expanded 55-foot-wide grand staircase and reconfigured access to the main campus, and transitions street and plaza with structural glazing supported by glass fins.
Hypar PavilionOn the street, this transparency turns the campus inside out and presents a welcoming face to the city. At the plaza level, it provides an airy, crystalline base for the new Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Lawn, an inviting green roof that doubles as a pocket park.
Hypar PavilionThe language, says Diller, is closer to landscape architecture than that of the existing monumental structures. To this end the design teams at DSR and FXFOWLE joined forces to develop the precise form of the roof. After numerous discussions and studies examining pitch, size, scale, and use, the architects devised a hyperbolic paraboloid (hypar), or saddle shape, that dips to touch the plaza at the southwest corner and provides a point of entry up onto the lawn.
Hypar PavilionBased on a frame of straight steel beams rotated against one another and layered with concrete, the hypar surface twists and rolls gently with slopes of up to 18 degrees, mimicking one of the diminutive hills in nearby Central Park. The gentle curve, says FXFOWLE principal in charge Sylvia Smith, is made by modifying the perimeter — in this case, the north and south edges.
Hypar PavilionWhen they were designing it, “we imagined prying the lawn up from the plaza, and filling it in with glass below,” says Diller. “The effect is a beautiful, bucolic, urban space where you can lose all track of time and have a picnic.”
Hypar PavilionLocation: New York City, USA
Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro with FXFOWLE
Project Leader: Kevin Rice
Project Team: Zoe Small, Haruka Saito, Ann-Rachel Schiffman, Stefan Roeschert, Michael Hundsnurcher, Roman Loretan, Dan Sakai, Chris Andreacola, Anthony Saby, Mateo Antonio de Cardenas, Toshikatsu Kiuchi, Felipe Ferrer, Hallie Terzopolos
Lighting: Tillotson Design Associates
SMEP: Ove Arup & Partners
Construction: Turner Construction
Area: 2200 m2
Year: 2010
Photographs: Iwan Baan
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