Fabricoil Hits All the Right Notes at Two of New York’s Iconic Performance Centers

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From public artwork in Los Angeles to sustainable designs looking to save energy, Cascade Architectural has been involved in projects around the world providing solutions to practical concerns while adding a new aesthetic dimension. Fabricoil®, the company’s signature coiled wire fabric, offers designers the opportunity to turn sunshades, space dividers and ceilings into something beautiful. For two of New York City’s high profile performance centers, it has played a major role in creating large functional spaces that are as visually intriguing as the performances they host.

Jazz at Lincoln Center
Manhattan’s world-famous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex was first designated for urban renewal in 1955 with renovations and additions to the 16.3-acre complex continuing through today. One of the more recent additions was Jazz at Lincoln Center, completed in 2004 after jazz enthusiasts spent two decades growing a summer concert program into a vibrant department worthy of its own 100,000-square-foot facility designed by Rafael Viñoly. The space — also called the Frederick P. Rose Hall and housed within Time Warner Center — became the world’s first performing arts center designed specifically for jazz.

Jazz at Lincoln Center; photo by Lawrence Sumulong for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Critically acclaimed for special attention to acoustics, the center’s auditoriums followed Managing Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis’ vision for “a space dedicated to the feeling of swing … a feeling of extreme coordination.” Since its opening, however, more and more visitors noticed that coordination did not extend to the lobby and atrium. To improve these public areas, Mica Ertegun, wife of the late Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun, worked closely with architects Richard Olcott and Molly McGowan of Ennead Architects to overhaul the space and create something that lived up to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s original vision.

The resulting 7,000-square-foot atrium, named the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium, opened in December 2015 with numerous additions and expansions: a larger hall-of-fame area, a new glass staircase, a 26-foot-tall digital wall and warm red-oak accents. Keeping jazz at the forefront of every corner, a small stage facing Central Park was also installed — an addition that demanded creative and practical solutions to maintain the high standard of sound technology found throughout the rest of the building.

Jazz at Lincoln Center; photo by Lawrence Sumulong for Jazz at Lincoln Center

A state-of-the-art acoustic ceiling and lighting system was installed to get the most from even the smallest performances, leaving designers with the challenge of maintaining the lively, fluid atmosphere while also concealing these technical details. Fabricoil’s satin bronze metal fabric offered the perfect solution. Custom-engineered attachment systems offered by the Cascade Architectural team were tailored to the space and suspended from the ceiling.

The result is undulating bronze waves that hover high above visitors’ heads, at the perfect height to hide lighting systems while also accentuating the curvature of the room. The color was also selected to stand out against the dark red carpet below while blending with warmer wood tones — a fully customizable solution that brought the spirit of jazz into every inch of the space.

Barclays Center
That same level of customization was just as important for the final details of SHoP Architect’s Barclays Center at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Downtown Brooklyn. An arena for concerts, conventions and sports, Barclays Center needed to offer this busy intersection something grand. The architects achieved this with a massive plaza covered by a 30-foot-high canopy covered in weathered steel — a striking reference to the surrounding urban environment. To give the interiors more luster, the design team implemented LED lighting and Fabricoil installations that create an alluring sight and welcome.

Barclays Center; photo by Bruce Damonte

As patrons walk into the main lobby, they encounter a rich blue element that expands and ripples across the three walls facing them. The effect was achieved by suspending Fabricoil’s stainless steel drapery system above the ticket booths and main entrance. Computerized readouts and colors from the lights just below the installations project the vivid colors onto the drapes for an intriguing glow that showcases how well Fabricoil materials capture and reflect light. The installation also serves as a porous curtain, with one side of the installation shielding the center’s lofted 40/40 Club and Restaurant while still allowing patrons to peer down onto the lobby below.

Barclays Center; photo by Bruce Damonte

SHoP architects and designers also incorporated bronze Fabricoil in its natural color for The Vault, an exclusive luxury suite inspired by cultural icon and performer Jay Z. Utilizing Cascade Architectural’s attachment systems, the drapes of bronze Fabricoil cut into the space from up above at varying angles. The result gives the Vault sharp and sleek accents that complement the gold plating found at the central Armand de Brignac Champagne Bar.

Barclays Center; photo by Bruce Damonte

Beyond Barclays and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Cascade’s team works closely with architects and designers of all project scopes to determine the weave size, material and attachment system that will best fit the vision and intent for the space and provides a wide range of standard and custom powder coated finishes to create the look you desire.

Barclays Center

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