In the density of Manhattan's
midtown the Ford Foundation building pioneered the spacious, green,
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