Lincoln Center NYC: The Rooftop Illumination Lawn

Lincoln Center NYC's illumination lawn with spectacular views on the rooftop 

We admit it: we were skeptical about the Lincoln Center NYC's new "Illumination Lawn." Not that we have any problem with contemporary tweaks and upgrades of even the most iconic of New York City landmarks. We're fans of Lincoln Center's new "choreographed" central fountain, for example, and, as has been observed many times before, one of the defining characteristic of New York City is change (the other is commerce, but that's a different story). So, we're all for the new, but even in the many opening day photographs we saw, the Lawn, designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro, just seemed a little forced, a plopped-down patch of green fakery amid all that Lincoln Center New York City stone.    


Diller Scofidio & Renfro designed the new illumination lawn at Lincoln Center and New Yorkers are already enjoying it 


Yesterday we visited the Diller Scofidio & Renfro designed Illumination Lawn for the first time, and are pleased to admit now that our doubts about the project were unfounded. The Lincoln Center NYC rooftop lawn, and the revamped north plaza as a whole, is a total winner. We love the Illumination Lawn's quirky shape, which is much steeper and more pronounced in person than it appears in the photographs we've seen. The warping parabola not only adds a bit of surprise, and drama, and visual interest to the piece, it also makes for comfy seating. Which is good, because you'll be tempted to sit at the Lincoln Center New York City lawn for awhile. 


Lincoln Center in New York City has a new lawn where New Yorkers are relaxing in the spring sun

The grass on the Illumination Lawn is thick and soft… at least, it is so far. It's only been a few days, so we'll have to wait and see how it holds up to the Upper West Side crowds, and the New York City summer sun. There's no shade on the Lincoln Center NYC lawn, and it is going to bake up there. But if you like the heat–and we do–not only is this pleasant perch, comfort-wise, but the views across the north plaza, with its newly-extended reflecting pool and freshly-planted grove of trees, are also terrific. And looking north is a treat, too, now that that grim pedestrian bridge is gone, and Julliard is all spruced up. The Diller, Scofidio & Renfro designed lawn's pointed prow, jutting out towards 65th Street, nicely echoes the new Alice Tully Hall facade as well. Well done, Lincoln Center. 


View of the Lincoln Center in Manhattan's Illumination Lawn and Julliard

Lincoln Center NYC's Diller, Scofidio, & Renfro Designed Illumination Lawn Details 

The Illumination Lawn is located in the northwest section of the main Lincoln Center New York City campus, overlooking 65th Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. The rooftop on which the lawn resides will soon cap a new, as yet unnamed restaurant (Tavern Under the Green?), scheduled to open in September.  Please visit the Lincoln Center NYC website for more information. 

The Lincoln Center in NYC front view exterior of the glass windown and stone steps 

Posted in NYC Events |