The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announced yesterday that it had selected OLIN to lead a comprehensive, multi-year effort to redesign and rebuild the four-block-long outdoor plaza that fronts its landmark Fifth Avenue façade. The project will feature as one of its centerpiece elements the design and installation of all-new fountains outside the museum building.
The selection of OLIN comes after a search process that involved a review of more than 30 leading landscape and building architects from around the world. The international search was conducted by a special committee of the Museum’s Board of Trustees chaired by Daniel Brodsky, who is also Vice Chairman of the Trustee Buildings Committee.
OLIN will lead a comprehensive project to re-conceive the entire plaza space, including its fountains and accompanying plantings, all of which were installed in their present form four decades ago in 1970. The uses of the plaza have changed over the years—vehicles, for example, are no longer allowed to drive around the fountains—suggesting the need for a new design program. The existing fountains, long dormant, were recently rehabilitated and currently function, but the repairs did not address long-term issues and are only temporary.
The project will require considerable advance planning, design work, and formal approvals from community and citywide agencies. At this early stage in the design process, the Museum has not yet developed a construction schedule but, pending all approvals, hopes that construction will take around two years and be completed by 2015.
SOURCE: Metropolitan Museum of Art