First look at proposed renovations to the New York Met’s sweeping plaza
The Metropolitan Museum of Art today unveiled plans for a comprehensive redesign of a four-block-long outdoor plaza that runs in front of its landmark Fifth Avenue building Designed by OLIN, the plan calls for the creation of new fountains to replace the existing ones built in 1970. The fountains will be positioned closer to the Museum’s front steps to improve access to its street level entrances. The renovated plaza has been gussied-up with tree-shaded allees, permanent and temporary seating area, and entirely new, energy-efficient lighting. Seasonal plantings will be added along the building to provide color and visual interest throughout the year.
In announcing the plans, Thomas P. Campbell, the Museum’s Director and CEO, said: “The Metropolitan Museum’s Fifth Avenue plaza is the public face of the Met, the first onsite experience for our millions of visitors from around the world. As such, it should mark the beginning of the extraordinary environment that awaits them inside, where our magnificent collections will take them across the globe and through centuries of history.“
Forty years have passed since the last renovation to the Metropolitan Museum’s Fifth Avenue presence, when the design emphasis focused on accommodating vehicular access. Today, pedestrian access is a greater priority, and some of the exterior works - including the fountains, trees, limited seating, and paving - have aged beyond repair, hence necessitating this milestone renovation project. The Museum will leave untouched the most iconic element of the prior design, the monumental front steps at 82nd Street.