Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jazz At Lincoln Center

I'm writing about Jazz at Lincoln Center for an architectural lighting class I'm taking right now.

Jazz At Lincoln Center
Architect: Raphael Vinoly
Open since 2004, Jazz At Lincoln Center is a complex that includes three spaces for Jazz performances, an education center, a Jazz Hall of fame, as well as flexible event space.  It is located at 33 West 60th Street, on the 11th floor of the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, New York City.  While each of the three performance venues in the complex were designed to accommodate different performance and event needs, each venue in its own right possesses a level of flexibility as well.  
The Allen Room’s design is based on that of a Greek amphitheater and features a 50’x90’ glass window that provides views of Central Park and Manhattan’s skyline.  The movable structure and removable stage give the Allen Room the ability to host many different events.  The largest of the three venues, Frederick P. Rose Hall is considered one of the best places to hear Jazz music in the world.  It features movable seating towers as well as a stage who’s dimensions can be adjusted. The sound quality can be regulated to suit a variety of needs due to it retractable ceiling and acoustical banner and curtain system.  Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the third venue, is the most intimate and designed specifically for live jazz performances while still being able to accommodate a variety of seating arrangements.  
One of the greatest challenges in designing the complex was to ensure that in a venue larger than most places one goes to hear jazz, that the feeling of intimacy and the connection between audience and musician would not be lost.  The lighting plays a crucial role in this achievement.  In Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the venue I visited, I think that the lighting is very successful in achieving this goal.  The lighting is controlled in the warm cave-like space so that just enough is emitted to illuminate the musicians without making one feel as though they were surrounded by others.  It allows for a seemingly direct connection between oneself and the music.

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