Ford Foundation
320 East 43rd Street
New York NY

Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo & Associates 1967

In the density of Manhattan's midtown the Ford Foundation building pioneered the spacious, green, full-height atrium. 

The lush planting occupies a third of an acre within the building, complete with lily pond, on a sloping terrace that accommodates the one-story difference in height between the entrances on 42nd and 43rd Streets. A glazed roof 130 feet above the planting creates a semi-tropical garden, which can be seen both from the twelve floors of offices and - via a glass wall extending most of the way up the building - from the street outside (on the 42nd Street side).

The building was recognized by the Architectural Record in 1968 as 'a new kind of urban space'.

This is not 'organic architecture'. The steel girders and granite facing, the highly polished brick floors, and the Modernist form of the building are harshly inorganic. But the contrast serves to make the softening and humanizing effect of the greenery that much stronger.


Simon Glynn 2001

 


How to visit

The building has entrances on both 42nd and 43rd Streets, just west of First Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Architecturally it's five minutes walk away from the United Nations building, the Chrysler building and the beautifully restored Grand Central Station.

The Ford Foundation's garden atrium is open to the public during normal office hours. For information telephone +1 212 573 5000.


 

 

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