Every time I go to the Met, I get a little thrill before heading inside by looking up at the building directly across the street. The building at 1001 Fifth Avenue, built by famed architect Philip Johnson’s firm in the 70s, has an odd and often criticized facade that not only stretches beyond the building’s roof, it is blatantly propped up, making it look more like the backside of a Hollywood set than a regal building with such an impressive (and important) address.
I had always heard it was a bit of a “fuck you” to the Met for being forced to adhere to their snobby, aesthetic standards, but it seems that is not the case.
According to this story in the Times, It was in fact Johnson’s firm who felt the obvious facade was an interesting and modern tip of the hat to both the austerity of the block, as well as the fresh looks and new styles of the time. They did it on purpose. It was no joke. And yet. Xo.architecture, Facade, Met, Philip Johnson