When Henry Moore's "Reclining Figure" sculpture was packed up and pulled out of Lincoln Center's reflecting pool in the summer of 2007, the North Plaza was still the quiet Modernist get-away as envisioned back in 1965 by landscape architect Dan Kiley. After a two-year absence Moore's big bronze "Figure" has come home, but it might feel at bit at sea, sitting as it is in the middle of a waterless pond. Kiley's original plan?designed in collaboration with architect Eero Saarinen?has now been virtually erased, with spacing reconfigured and the reflecting pool reduced and realigned. A new ramp of a restaurant, crowding the pool's shoreline, will become a grass-covered hillside where loungers can lie eye-to-eye with the sculpture. This is just one part of the transformation of Lincoln Center by architects Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. Meanwhile, down below on West 65th Street, other changes are nearing completion
The sidewalks are wider and out in the open, bold signage with LED information panels are going in, and broad stairways have been added to allow open access from the street up to Lincoln Center's venues on either side. Simple Modernism is upstaged by a Neo-Modernist playground. When Moore, who died in 1986, spoke of the installation of "Reclining Figure," he said, "I think that in the Lincoln Centre piece, its size in relation to the four buildings all around it and to the plaza is just about right." No telling what Mr. Moore would say now.
· Transforming Lincoln Center [lincolncenter.org]
· Lincoln Center coverage [Curbed]