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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ford Foundation's New Atrium Garden

New York YIMBY reports the good news that "on Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved changes to the atrium of the Ford Foundation Building at 320 East 43rd Street." Gensler is overseeing the upgrades to the 1967 building designed by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, which address code and accessibility issues. Since the needed "asbestos abatement requires the removal of all living things," according to Alexandra Lange at Curbed, the famous one-third-acre atrium garden designed by Dan Kiley will be replanted. Miami's Raymond Jungles is in charge of that work, and here are some existing and proposed views of the atrium garden. (Images are via YIMBY; click any image to view as a slideshow, recommended).

Existing:

Proposed:


Existing:

Proposed:


Existing:

Proposed:


Comparison of the before and after views shows more trees and low plantings in the latter, which should enable more visibility across the terraced atrium. This is aligned with the intention of bringing the atrium garden closer to what Kiley originally intended. In developing his design, Kiley told the Ford Foundation frankly it would be an experiment, and in turn many of the plantings failed, leading eventually to the current dense crop of trees and plants. These images (also via YIMBY) illustrate how Jungles will transform the garden into something aligned with Kiley's original design:





Upgrades are expected to be completed in 2018. In the meantime, visit YIMBY for the full LPC Submission.

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