A dramatically redesigned plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue was dedicated today and named in honor of its sole donor, David H. Koch. The four-block long plaza, which flanks the museum’s famous entrance steps, includes two fountains, alleys of trees, new paving and red, angular canopies/parasols over seating benches.
The redesign of the plaza space was two years in the making and cost $65 million, contributed entirely by Mr. Koch, a trustee of the museum. In his remarks inside the museum at the Temple of Dendur, Mr. Koch said that when Daniel Brodsky, the museum’s chairman, asked how the new plaza was going to be paid for he said he “had a good idea – why don’t I do it?!”
Mr. Koch, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Julia, and three children, said that the plaza “became a passion for me.” He had lived nearby when it was under discussion and he said he hoped it will last for 50 years until a future philanthropist funds another renovation.
More from the event here
Image credit: Blondie’s Treehouse
You would think creating an outdoor space right by the High Line would be counterproductive, but after you see this beautiful creation Blondie’s Treehouse built for clients in the Meatpacking District, you’ll think otherwise. Working with 3,000 square feet of contiguous exterior space, Blondie’s designers, Tina Dituri and Charles Casanova were tasked with combining the two distinct areas into one singular escape. See the amazing oasis that rose out of their design quandary over at Renovating NYC.
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In typical rural esthetic, the grounds of the Greene County Residence are rolling and untamed. To work with this natural terrain, as well as juxtapose it, Susan Wisniewski Landscape created an angular outdoor pool setting that is both traditional and modern. The flat, rustic pavers surrounding the watering hole fit with the conventional barn, but the pool’s trapezoidal shape adds a geometric punch to the otherwise organic setting.
More about the outdoor design here
Forest City Ratner Companies and Greenland USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Greenland Group, announced today that their new joint venture, Greenland Forest City Partners, has selected COOKFOX Architects to design two residential buildings at their Pacific Park Brooklyn project. They’ve also chosen Thomas Balsley Associates to design the site’s eight-acre public park, which will be called Pacific Park.
Formerly known as Atlantic Yards, Pacific Park Brooklyn will be a 22-acre site anchored by the Barclays Center and containing 8 million square feet of mixed-use development. The public park will be revealed in phases, with permanent and temporary installations. COOKFOX has begun the design for its two residential buildings– 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, set to feature 275 condominiums, and 535 Carlton Avenue, which will have approximately 300 affordable rentals. Construction is expected to begin on the latter this December, with 550 Vanderbilt not far behind. A third residential building will be designed by SHoP Architects, who were the minds behind the Barclays Center, at 30 Sixth Avenue with another 300 affordable rentals.
Much more on the project here
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedom’s Park may have opened relatively recently in 2012, but architect Louis Kahn was brewing up the design for the memorial park nearly 40 years earlier. Kahn’s death in 1974 (a somewhat tragic one which left him dead and alone in a Penn Station bathroom after a heart attack) was unfortunately accented by a dwindling reputation — Kahn’s sordid multi-family affairs had come to light upon his passing and his fading architecture practice was loaded with debt. But beyond all the scandal, Kahn also left behind a number of sketchbooks packed with complete sets of unrealized projects. One of these projects was the Four Freedom’s Park.
While plenty of accolades have been given to successful realization of the project so far after Kahn’s death, few have tracked where the architect may have pulled his inspiration for the design. That is until now. As a number of Kahn’s sketches emerge for public viewing, some are asking: Was the the design of Louis Kahn’s Four Freedom’s Park inspired by the Eye of Providence found on the U.S. dollar bill?
What people are saying
NY-based Bates Masi + Architects designed a luxurious family home in East Hampton that pays homage to a local typology: the potato barn. Located in a 19th century waterfront community, the Piersons Way house consists of a series of gabled interconnected volumes clad in light Alaskan yellow shakes. This beautiful house rises among bamboo canes and tall silver grasses, protecting its own privacy while blending within the natural surroundings.
Tour the home here
New images of the BAM South Tower at 286 Ashland Place have emerged and come courtesy of the project’s landscape architect, Grain Collective. The renderings hint not only at the incredible views that will be afforded by the new tower, but the major rehaul of the public spaces along Fulton Street, Ashland Place and Lafayette Avenue. The new streetscaping plan will add much needed green space to the barren concrete quarter, with plenty of room for outdoor activities and events for patrons of BAM and BRIC, as well as local residents, to enjoy.
More of what’s to come here
Nestled in the quaint town of Coxsackie, New York is a residential garden oasis with crystal clear views of the Hudson River and magical green landscaping that could very well serve as the backdrop for a children’s fairytale book. The enchanting grounds of the River House were designed by Susan Wisniewski Landscape, who created a natural-looking setting to frame the environmentally friendly Hudson Valley home.
Take a tour of the beautiful outdoor space
When you arrive 11 miles off the tip of Long Island at the Fishers Island House you’ll be instantly in awe of the Long Island Sound views, apple tree orchard, lush green landscaping, and colorful mix of flowers. You then might to start to wonder where the house is… until you realize you’ve been peering straight through its transparent glass frame the entire time.
Thomas Phifer & Partners designed the simple, 4,600-square-foot pavilion to delicately blend in to the surrounding landscape and create a seamless interior/exterior transition. At two points in the otherwise rectangular floorplan, the outdoor space penetrates inward — once in the entry way, which emerges as a shallow reflecting pool that disappears into the Sound, and again with a tranquil, mossy rock garden at the other end of the home.
Don’t miss the rest of this incredible work of architecture
Coming on the heels of a rezoning last spring that will yield much more residential and retail development in the area just north of Canal Street, the Hudson Square Connection Business Improvement District embarked on an ambitious $27 million campaign to create more open space and beautify the neighborhood’s streets.
First up was a $200,000 investment at Freeman Plaza West a few months after the City Council approved the rezoning. The vacant property near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel was magically transformed into an unexpected but charming garden respite with the addition of umbrellas, tables, chairs and trees.
What are the plans for Soho Square?