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Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC)

Retractable Ceiling Panel Systems, Frederick P. Rose Hall

New York, New York

Jazz at Lincoln Center is the world’s first performing arts facility designed specifically for jazz, education, performance and broadcast.

The multi-room facility is now highly flexible allowing for a unique experience for both performers and the audience. We designed two identical main truss support systems, including the suspended catwalk frame and main framing for attachment of the upstage and downstage acoustic ceiling panels. Along with the design of each main truss system, we developed a design for the end trolleys and steel rail systems. Additionally, in coordination with J.R. Clancy’s mechanical engineering department, we designed the gear-motor drive systems and necessary rigging system to properly operate each upstage and downstage ceiling panel.

Each truss is approximately 100 feet long and the total weight of each completed assembly is over 100,000 pounds. Each retractable ceiling is approximately 13 feet wide by 88 feet long and consists of a steel frame with segmented sections of curved wood panels. Both retractable ceiling panel truss assemblies travel from a storage-to-play position by means of steel wheels that travel on rails connected to existing trolley beams. The ceiling panels, when deployed, provide improved acoustical properties, as well as, the appropriate stage lighting.

A key feature to this project was the challenge in designing these ceiling panel systems to overcome site constraints as this hall is located on the 5th floor of the AOL/Time Warner building. As such, each piece of this system had to be delivered to the theatre area through a service elevator.