Photo courtesy H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture
Best Cultural/Worship Project: DiMenna Center for Classical Music

DiMenna Center for Classical Music

New York City  Region ENR New York

Project Team

Developer/Owner Orchestra of St. Luke's, New York City

Architect H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, New York City

General Contractor/Construction manager Barr and Barr, New York City

The DiMenna Center for Classical Music transformed the lower half of a concrete off-Broadway theater into a new 20,000-sq-ft rehearsal and recording facility for New York City's Orchestra of St. Luke's.

The center features a box-in-a-box design, with each room floating on neoprene pads inside an acoustic isolation chamber anchored to an outer box of concrete, helping to eliminate outside noise and deliver superior room acoustics. H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture worked with the volumes of two defunct theaters in the building to create the 3,500-sq-ft Cary Hall rehearsal room and the 1,700-sq-ft Benzaquen Hall chamber rehearsal room, removing the balcony in the larger space. By reusing the existing concrete structure, the team was able to keep its budget down and create the unique shapes of the two main halls.

The contractor also worked around the Baryshnikov Arts Center, which remained in the building and produced performances throughout the construction period. Despite the additional layer of scheduling this constraint imposed upon the project, the DiMenna Center project came in on time and under budget.

"Constructing this project inside an operational theater in the middle of Manhattan was an incredible feat," said one judge. "Meticulous attention to the acoustic details during design and construction was evident in the finished project—a tribute to everyone involved."

Since its completion in March 2011, the DiMenna Center has become an in-demand space for the city's musicians.