The Met Museum breaks ground on David H. Koch Plaza (slide show)

Check out renderings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s swanky new outdoor space, set to open next year.

  • Rendering looking south from the front steps (image: OLIN)

  • Rendering of proposed fountain (image: Fluidity Design Consultants)

  • Rendering of proposed lighting (image: L’Observatoire International)

Rendering looking south from the front steps (image: OLIN)

Ready for a Museum Mile upgrade? Today, ground was broken on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new David H. Koch Plaza, a four-block-long outdoor promenade due to be finished in fall 2014. The project will transform the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 80th and 84th Streets into a leafy pedestrian haven.

Designed by landscape-architecture firm OLIN (the brains behind the 2005 revamp of Columbus Circle), the plaza will include two new granite fountains flanking the Met’s iconic front steps, a pair of tree-lined allées and movable seating. Running along the staircase will be gardens planted with fauna inspired by those seen in early-20th-century photos. Judging from the renderings above, we’re really looking forward to stretching out here with a good book.