OLIN to redesign Met Museum of Art New York plaza

Olin to redesign the Met Museum of Art plaza.

OLIN, landscape architecture, urban design and planning studio, has been chosen by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to redesign the museum’s Fifth Avenue plaza and fountains.

Construction should begin by fall 2012 and be completed by fall 2014.

“It’s an honour to work on the redesign of such an important civic space in front of one the world’s most prestigious art museums in one of the world’s greatest cities,” said Dennis McGlade, partner, OLIN.


“The calibre of the design discourse with the client group was at the highest level regarding aesthetics and the concern for visitor comfort and safety.”

OLIN’s plan calls for the comprehensive redesign of the four-block long outdoor plaza that runs in front of the museum’s Fifth Avenue façade from 80-84th Streets while keeping the its iconic front steps intact.

It will also see the creation of new fountains to replace the deteriorating ones that have been in use since they were built in the 1970s along with the existing plaza.

The fountains will be positioned closer to the museum’s front steps, improving access to its street-level public entrances at 81st and 83rd Streets.

The renovated plaza will have a new pavement of North American granite, 100 trees including large Little Leaf Linden allées for shade (in place of the current London Plane trees that have limited lifespans and low environmental benefits due to their planting conditions), bosques of trees planted at 45 degree angles to guide pedestrians toward the doorways, and permanent and temporary seating areas, along with energy-efficient and diffused nighttime lighting.

In addition, the design calls for a suspended paving system, which allows for subsurface tree pits that can collect and utilize onsite storm water that would otherwise drain into the city’s infrastructure.

The OLIN team is led by partner Dennis McGlade and associate Scott Dismukes. Project consultants include: Gorton & Associates for project and cost management; Fluidity Design Consultants for water feature design; L’Observatoire International for lighting design; Rick Mather USA Inc. with Spatial Affairs Bureau for kiosk and site furnishings design; and Sam Schwartz Engineering for the vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow plan.

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