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
Recently the finalists for the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition were selected to continue into Phase 2 of the competition to develop conceptual designs and 3-D models for a wildlife overpass at West Vail Pass along Interstate Highway 70 near Vail, Colorado. The designs are intended to usher in a new generation of wildlife crossing infrastructure using new methods, new materials, and new thinking to reduce structural costs and increase adaptability and ecological function. The five finalist teams are:
- Balmori Associates (New York) with StudioMDA, Knippers Helbig Inc., David Skelly, CITA, Bluegreen, John A. Martin & Associates, and David Langdon.
- The Olin Studio (Philadelphia) with Explorations Architecture (Paris), Buro Haphold (London) and Applied Ecological Services.
- Janet Rosenberg & Associates (Toronto) with Blackwell Bowick Partnership, Dougan & Associates, and Ecokare International.
- Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates with HNTB Engineering with Applied Ecological Services, Inc.
- Zwarts & Jantsma Architects (Amsterdam) with OKRA Landscape Architects, IV-infra and Planecologie
SOURCE: [ARC Competition]
OLIN is part of the team lead by KieranTimberlake that recently won the competition for the US Embassy to be built in Battersea (London), UK. From among 37 architectural submissions, four finalists were chosen to explore the symbolism of the Embassy and its presence and position in the cityscape of London. OLIN was the landscape architect of choice for three of the four competition finalists: KieranTimberlake, Morphosis and Richard Meier & Partners, all of whom worked for nearly a year before making their final presentations to the jury.
The U.S. Department of State’s goal was to create an Embassy and landscape with a timeless quality to appropriately represent the United States of America in the United Kingdom. The winning team was selected by a distinguished jury of both American and British leaders in the fields of architecture, academia and diplomacy for a design which “met the goal of creating a modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient embassy for the 21st century.”
The anticipated ground breaking for the Embassy will be in 2013 with a goal to complete construction in 2017. In addition to KieranTimberlake and OLIN, members of the winning team include Arup for Sustainability, MEP/FP and Civil Engineering; Weidlinger Associates for Structural and Blast Engineering; Gensler for workplace design; Davis Langdon for Cost Consulting; and Sako & Associates for Technical Security.
Partners Laurie Olin and Hallie Boyce will lead the design efforts.
[TEXT & IMAGE SOURCE: OLIN]