Revitalizing the Met's Front Steps

The entrance staircase of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has always been a gathering place. Visitors will sit and wait on the front steps for their friends, or take a breather there after attempting to absorb the museum's massive collection. The steps, and the four-block-long façade of the museum, were recently refreshed by famed landscape architecture firm OLIN and reopened last week. 

There are no dramatic statements in this redesign, which is fitting for such a prestigious, historic institution as the Met. Instead, OLIN focused on making the public spaces more comfortable and inviting. Dennis McGlade, OLIN Partner, quotes Jane Jacob in their press release (always a good sign): "The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations."

Over 100 new trees were planted and two rows of giant parasols were installed to add much needed shade to the public plaza. Lightweight, moveable tables and chairs were also added to the space, following the great success of this strategy in Bryant Park. Aside from two newly-orchestrated fountains, OLIN's work might just be forgotten in a couple of years as the space becomes more used and worn-in - as it should be. 

Broadway World coverage

DesignBoom article with more pictures