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Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza Goes Green for the Summer

Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza Goes Green for the Summer

After several event cancellations due to the pandemic, Manhattan’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex have transformed their outdoor plaza into a green park and outdoor performance venue called The Green. As of May 10, the Restart Stages initiative will add fake grass across the 14,000-square-foot (1,300 sqm) Josie Robertson Plaza. The plaza, which was originally designed by Philip Johnson, Wallace K. Harrison, and Max Abramovitz, and renovated by award-winning architecture firm DS+R in 2010, will transform into a public urban space of gathering, leisure, and entertainment.

Courtesy of DS+RCourtesy of DS+RThe Green. Image Courtesy of Mimi Lien/Rendering by Timothy LeungThe Green. Image Courtesy of Mimi Lien/Rendering by Timothy Leung+ 8

All of the newly-designed park elements, such as ramps, raised seating, and semicircular hideaways around the Revson Fountain, will be covered in fake grass fabricated of recyclable, biobased SYNLawn. The grass-like material has a high soy content, sourced from U.S. farmers. Books provided by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, a snack bar, and pop-up performances will be available throughout the summer and early fall.

Courtesy of Mimi Lien/Rendering by Timothy Leung
Courtesy of Mimi Lien/Rendering by Timothy Leung

Mimi Lien, The Green's designer, took into consideration the physically and visually impaired individuals, creating gentle curves and wide-open sightlines. Lien's portfolio includes multiple sets for Broadway shows and a a MacArthur Genius grant in 2015, along with a Tony Award for her designs of Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812.


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When invited to consider how the physical space of Josie Robertson Plaza could be re-envisioned to be a more inclusive and inviting environment, I immediately thought that by changing the ground surface from hard paving stones with no seating to a material like grass, suddenly anyone would be able to sit anywhere. I hope that this curved grass surface will feel like an embrace and an expanse at the same time, and will reimagine the Plaza as a site of social infrastructure, like a town green – a place to gather, a common ground. -- Mimi Lien, Designer

Courtesy of DS+R
Courtesy of DS+R

Visitors will be able to access The Green daily as of May 10 until September, but with social distancing protocols. After its termination, The Green will be taken apart and recycled into playgrounds for children in upstate New York. Funding for Restart Stages was held by the Lincoln Center Board of Directors and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is the first performing arts institution in the United States and the first worldwide to combine all of the arts in one campus. DS+R’s renovation and redesign included all of the complex's public spaces, the Juilliard School, the Alice Tully Hall, and the School of American Ballet.

Courtesy of DS+R
Courtesy of DS+R

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Cite: Dima Stouhi. "Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza Goes Green for the Summer" 14 Apr 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/960129/lincoln-centers-josie-robertson-plaza-goes-green-for-the-summer> ISSN 0719-8884
The Green. Image Courtesy of Mimi Lien/Rendering by Timothy Leung

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