Lincoln Center – Canopies, New York, USA

lincoln center – canopies

New York’s “Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts” was built in the late 1950s and even today is still one of the largest and best-known arts centres worldwide. The complex with its 12 music and theatre institutions plus the world-famous Metropolitan Opera was fully refurbished and redeveloped between 2008 and 2009. Two long canopies restructure the streetscape here and the entrance situation for Avery Fisher Hall and the New York State Theater. These striking roofs invite passers-by to enter the world of the arts.

Transparency and lightness dominate the designs for the two glass canopies. Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro have carefully integrated two elegant steel “sculptures” into the architecture of Avery Fisher Hall and the New York State Theater. Two slightly outward-tilting steel beams just over 27m long are supported on a central Y-column. A circular hollow section passing right through the steel beams joins these to the building at one end, and together with the Y-column, which is rigidly bolted to the roof of the basement car park, ensures the necessary stability. Suspended below both beams are large-format panes of glass – 12 four-ply laminated safety glass panes each measuring 4.30m x 2.30m. Each one of these weighs almost 1.5t. They are held at the corners with point fixings. Subsequently bonded together with a two-component injection compound to form a load-transferring connection, glass and steel form a structurally effective composite. 

  • The structural concept called for a good fit between all the different components. The customary construction tolerance of 3mm to 5mm for steel structures was far too generous for this project; ±1.5mm was the figure in the specification for the assembly. But even beforehand, the severe deformations caused by the weight of the panes themselves (18t) had to be taken into account. The steel beams were therefore assembled exactly with the help of templates and cambered in their length by applying heat to certain areas. Built according to an exactly calculated erection plan, 40t of steel and glass now form a perfectly horizontal line and even with a roof fall of just one degree the roof drainage functions reliably.

2 canopies, each with 120sqm roof area

Client Lincoln Center Development Project, Inc.
Architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro, LLC
Engineer Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners
Date of completion 2009
Scope of seele supply

240sqm roof area

  • Total weight: 40t
  • Steel beams over 27m
  • 12 four-ply laminated safety glass panes, each 4,3m x 2,3m

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