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Symphony Space

AO is working with Symphony Space to transform to its worn yet treasured facility with the goals of increasing its public visibility, enhancing the overall audience and artist experience, and coalescing its disparate spaces into a recognizable and vibrant destination. The project aims to both reconceive how people experience culture today and fully realize the vision of its founder Isaiah Sheffer of creating a cultural “town square”. With strategic interior renovations throughout Symphony Space’s three floors along with focused exterior improvements on the Broadway and 95th Street facades, our design both solves crucial problems and unlocks new programmatic possibilities.

By separating the Sharp Theatre from a large, underused space at its rear with an acoustic wall and light lock vestibules and reconfiguring its balcony to be closer to the stage, we vastly improve the acoustics and sightlines within the theatre while also creating a new flexible double-height gathering area connected to the lobby and overlooking street. To draw and welcome visitors, a new glass entry vestibule will replace opaque lobby doors while a hospitable concierge type service desk will take the place of the enclosed ticket booth. The lobby and open areas on all floors will be refurbished with fresh finish materials, lighting, digital screens, and graphic identity features. The 750-seat Sharp Theater and the 150-seat Thalia Theater will receive new seats, finishes, and audio-visual systems to support extensive programming ranging from musical, spoken word and dramatic performances to film screenings and community meetings. Improvements to the building enclosure and mechanical systems will be performed in coordination with architectural improvements, to ensure a comfortable, high-performing facility that exceeds current conservation codes and achieves LEED Gold certification.


Symphony Space


30,000 square foot Renovation and Exterior Improvements


New York, NY


In Design


Concept Design, Architectural Design, Interior Design, Fundraising Materials


LEED Gold Certification