The Metropolitan Museum of Art

David H. Koch Plaza


With as many as six million pedestrians walking in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art every year, and over 2,000 employees and volunteers entering the institution daily, the museum’s Fifth Avenue Plaza is one of the most heavily trafficked spots in New York City. The Met’s grand staircase is the quintessential New York meeting place. After 40 years, this plaza, stretching from 80th to 84th Streets, and its fountains have finally undergone a renovation which has transformed the exterior of this national treasure into a space worthy of the famed masterpieces housed inside its galleries.

Redesign of the plaza included the removal of existing curbing, pavements, fountains, and trees allowing for the installation of new pavements, tree-shaded allées, casual seating, shade structures, custom and programmable granite fountains, and entirely new, energy-efficient LED lighting. The fountains operate year round via a subterranean pump room, while the diffused lighting highlights the unique architectural features of the museum’s façade. A snow melt system is embedded under sidewalks and the south drive. The sum total of the renovations will enhance access and entrance to the landmark museum for many years to come.


ARCHITECTOlin Landscape Architects
SIZE4 city blocks
COST$65 million

Photo credit: ©Olin Sahar Coston-Hardy