Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gehry's gone from AY completely, so how do the design specifications remain in place?

The New York Times's blog The Local followed up on WNYC's anonymously sourced report that Frank Gehry was gone from Atlantic Yards completely, and got a confirmation from uberflack Joe DePlasco

He said:
“Frank Gehry was and remains the master planner for the arena and larger project and all of the design specifications that he developed, and which were approved, remain in place. Obviously the world has changed significantly since the project was proposed and we are making every effort to adapt to these changes while meeting the high standards that we set for project. Going forward we anticipate that we will use a number of architects, well known and new, to design the individual buildings as part of Frank’s larger plan. Update | 3:16 p.m. We do not anticipate that Mr. Gehry will be designing any of the individual buildings.”
(Emphasis added)

No more Urban Room

Maybe those specs remain in place, but that doesn't mean they're realistic. 

There's no Urban Room if there's no Building 1, so this excerpt from the Design Guidelines attached to the Modified General Project Plan seems rather quaint:
ii. The Urban Room shall include a café or other eating and drinking establishment and shall incorporate an entrance to the Atlantic Yards transit hub as well as provide entrances to Building 1 (other than entrances to residential uses) and the Arena...

Gehry, suggested TIME critic Richard Lacayo, had gone from master planner to master fig leaf. How exactly the design specifications he developed might persist should be an ongoing question.

In the print Times, "economic climate" blamed

In an article in today's paper, headlined Gehry Is Out as Designer of Project in Brooklyn the Times finds DePlasco conceding that last week's announcement “should’ve been clearer.” The Times even offers some hindsight, recognizing that Gehry last week spoke in the past tense.

The Times not-too-skeptically accepts Forest CIty Ratner's claim that “economic climate” spurred the switch in architects. As I suggested, the simplistic explanation is fishy, given the enormous cost of the replacement arena and the fact that Gehry's design was likely impossible.

Yes, they couldn't afford Gehry's plan. But there's no sign they're doing a less expensive version of it, despite claims that Gehry's the master planner.

Atlantic Yards, it seems, has changed significantly.

1 comment:

  1. While we pretty much all agree that it has significantly changed the one group that says it doesn't is the ESDC, perhaps ostrich like. But in the end they have the power to say it has not changed and set off another round of lawsuits....
    Smeyer418

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