The MetLife building has its roots in a late 1950's project dubbed "Grand Central City" that was to redevelop the highly valuable Grand Central Terminal site in New York City. Famed architects Walter Gropius and Pierre Belluschi were hired to design a large office building that would rise above the railroad tracks entering Grand Central Terminal. With almost 2.5 million square feet, it would become the largest office building ever constructed.
Straddling Park Avenue, the tower rises above Grand Central Terminal. Originally named the Pan Am Building as the headquarters of its largest tenant, the building is often cited in polls as one of the most hated buildings in New York. This is primarily due to its orientation and location - blocking views of the sky when looking down Park Avenue. The building was purchased by Metropolitan Life in 1981 and renamed the MetLife Building when Pan Am moved their operations to Miami in 1992.
A close up of the Grand Central Terminal building. An elevated Park Avenue runs around both sides of the building.
The rooftop originally featured a heliport for service to and from JFK airport. The operation was plagued from the start with noise and safety concerns. In 1977 a fatal accident killed five people and closed the operation permanently.
My favorite detail in the model are these iron clad windows in Grand Central Terminal done here with black tile grille elements.
The MetLife building features a façade of Mo Sai precast concrete panels. The architects chose this design to differentiate the building from the many glass curtain wall buildings the were common during the 50’s and 60’s. The architecture itself is international style, although it is sometimes accused of being brutalism. The model is constructed with 900 1x2 slope with slot elements to simulate these panels.
A final look. The famous large corporate signs atop the building have been omitted as I have found no suitable purist solutions.
As usual, a masterful design and completely original! You should include a picture of a horizontal cross section of the MetLife to show techniques of how you managed to angle the 1x2 grill slopes to appear straight. If I'm not mistaken, you probably had to use bar and clip techniques because male and female snap-and-clip plates have set degree measures in incraments of 22.5 degrees whereas the grill slopes require a 16 degree hinge to appear straight on your SNOT facade.