Along the length of the landmarked Fifth Avenue façade, OLIN’s design for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s four-block-long plaza enhances one of New York City’s most significant public gathering spaces. OLIN led the design to prioritize the pedestrian experience and create a welcoming urban destination with fountains, trees, seating, and kiosks for refreshments and museum information.
Ornamental beds of shrubs and herbaceous flowers reference plantings seen in early-to-mid-20th century photographs and drawings. Trees with limited lifespans have been replaced with a formal allée of aerial hedges; in all, the plaza includes approximately 100 new trees, more than twice the previous number. Increased shade creates a more comfortable environment, reducing the surface temperature of paving by as much as 25 degrees Fahrenheit. A new pair of contemporary granite fountains operates year-round by utilizing an innovative steam-recycling circulation system. They are positioned closer to the grand stairs, improving access to the plaza’s street-level public entrances and creating an energized connection between people sitting on the steps and those at the fountains.
New York, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art