David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center

Page Tools

David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center | Notes of Interest

Harmony atrium, a privately owned public space, was a defacto homeless shelter and small rock-climbing business. Lincoln Center sponsored the space with the true intention of creating a place for the public.

Wedged into Manhattan’s dense fabric, the 7000 SF passageway serves as Lincoln Center’s public visitor facility, welcoming city newcomers and neighborhood residents. The space, known as The David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, offers free performances, information and tickets to events, and a place to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Cantilevered canopies announce the presence of the atrium. Visitors enter through large glass doors. They are greeted by 20 foot-high plant walls. Green marble benches, as well as moveable chairs and tables, offer places to rest. A fountain in the ceiling drops thin streams of water into a stone basin. Sixteen occuli pierce the golden ceiling to bring natural light into the double height space. In the evening, they are illuminated with colored artificial lights creating an ideal atmosphere for concerts.

Enormous felt paintings hang on two walls. One installation, grey ellipses rolling playfully on a yellow background, relates to the ceiling, and the other surrounds a media wall that serves as a canvas for projected information, images, and film. Transformed by light, color, texture, and thoughtfully chosen materials, the space is now a tranquil and welcoming oasis. In the first five months, more than 250,000 people visited the atrium.

Additional Credit

Consultant: Acoustic Dimensions; Axis Group Limited; Dan Euser Waterarchitecture Inc; Fisher Dachs 
                 Associates; Pentagram Design, Inc.; Steven Winter Associate, Inc.; Vertical Garden Technology
Engineer: ARUP
General Contractor: RCDolner Construction LLC
Lighting: Fisher Marantz Stone

Photo Credit

© Nic Lehoux
© Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects


David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center

Jury Comments

This space is sensitively transformed incorporating nature, art, and commercial activity in a carefully modulated manner. The multiple scales created by the ceiling "puddles" and huge custom textile art are brought down to human scale by the inclusion of mural plantings, tables and chairs, reading areas, and well situated vendor stations.

This is an exceptional revitalization of an urban interior space that is both uplifting and considerate.

2012 Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture Jury

  • Elizabeth Corbin Murphy, FAIA, Chair
  • CMB Architects
  • Akron
  • Robert Allen, Jr., AIA
  • Metalhouse
  • Norwalk, Connecticut
  • Mark Jensen, AIA
  • Jensen Architects
  • San Francisco
  • David Lenox, AIA
  • University Architect/Dir. Campus Planning
  • Stanford University
  • Palo Alto, California
  • Erick S. Ragni, AIA
  • MaRS Architects
  • Houston

Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy