Focusing on light, color, texture, and materials, New York–based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects transformed a narrow passageway into Lincoln Center’s visitor facility. The atrium features art installations, a media wall, 20-foot-high plant-covered walls, as well as marble benches and movable furnishings. Thin streams of water drop from the ceiling into a stone basin.

Jury: “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 textile art are brought down to human scale by the inclusion of mural plantings, tables and chairs, reading areas, and well-situated vendor stations.”

Client: “Billie and Tod’s innovative design was key to the transformation of an underutilized public space into a lively, accessible environment. As a gateway to Lincoln Center, the atrium has engaged new audience members, inviting them to take advantage of our free programming, discount tickets, food, and other amenities. The creative vision also reflects a respect for the materials used throughout the center, and resulted in the atrium becoming the center’s first LEED-certified, green building.” —Reynold Levy, president, Lincoln Center