Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An architect-centered take on the curious September 14 "community information session"

So e-Oculus, the publication of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), offers a (predictably) architect-centered take on the curious September 14 event that was both an AIA continuing education event and a "community information session"--or maybe a "public informational session."

The article, headlined New Barclays Center Design Eyes Atlantic Yards, does not look askance at the moderator's distracting musings:
“Where do the things in dreams go? Do they pass to the dreams of others?” asked Rick Bell, FAIA, quoting from Pablo Neruda during a recent talk on the new design of Barclays Center. A bit like dreams, memories of the sports-and-entertainment arena’s previous, rejected designs hovered over the proceedings: Gehry Partners’ glassy, circular design, which got scrapped for a more economical (and bland) version by Ellerbe Becket. SHoP recently joined up with Ellerbe Becket to create a sexier new design, the subject of the evening’s talk.

The controversy

There's a nod to the controversy:
Some questions about the project remained unanswered. Eliciting grumbles from community activists who oppose Atlantic Yards, Bell chose not to allow questions pertaining to the process surrounding the complex, explaining that the session’s purpose was to focus purely on the new design

I posted a comment:
One important reason why “community activists” wanted more questions answered: the Empire State Development Corporation billed this as the second promised “community information session.” However, the session was held after the period for public comment had closed. And Bell acknowledged he had no idea how a community info session was (awkwardly) grafted on an AIA continuing education session.

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