The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, US, has unveiled plans for an upgrade of the plaza on Fifth Avenue, funded by a $60m gift from museum trustee David Koch.
The four-block outdoor plaza runs in front of the museum’s landmark Fifth Avenue facade, from 80th to 84th Streets in Manhattan.
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs commissioner Kate Levin said: "The renovation and redesign of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s plaza is the next step in ensuring that one of our great public buildings is welcoming to visitors from across the street and around the world."
Landscape architecture firm OLIN has been selected by the museum to oversee the design works, which will upgrade the fountains and double the number of trees along the outdoor plaza.
A pair of contemporary granite fountains designed by Fluidity Design Consultants will be installed to operate all through the year encircling the grand stairs in front of the main entrance.
The upgrade will also introduce tree-shaded allees, permanent and temporary seating areas and new energy-efficient and diffused night-time lighting.
As part of the new renovation plan, new North American granite paving will be placed to accommodate pedestrians along the several routes to and from the doors and steps of the museum.
The design also calls for a suspended paving system, which allows for extensive subsurface tree pits that can collect and utilise onsite storm water.
L’Observatoire International redesigned the LED lighting elements to assist with wayfinding and provide visual interest for passersby.
Additional consultants are contributing to civil engineering, transportation engineering, site surveying, irrigation and other fields on the project.
After receiving all of the necessary approvals, construction on the project is expected to commence in late 2012 and will take 23 months to complete.
Image: A rendering of the proposed Fifth Avenue plaza redesign. Photo: OLIN.