Results matching “stadium”

Atlantic Yards: From Great To Good


deanbig.jpgYesterday's news that Ellerbe Becket is apparently only going to be responsible for the inner workings of the stadium we so roundly hated on a few months ago is welcome.  SHoP does great work, they love New York, and they are sports guys, so it seems like a brilliant match.  As Nicolai Ourousoff commented in yesterday's Times, SHoP has done a pretty thorough job of redesigning the stadium's urban presence.  It looks swell.  It's New York again (possibly more so than Frank Gehry's design was).  And it looks city-friendly.  But as Mr. Ourousoff notes, several large pieces of Gehry's original design are missing, meaning the stadium could be built without any of the interlaced residential components in the original plan.  That is unacceptable.  Left to the future, the supertowers will never get made, and certainly never get interlaced with the stadium building. The whale will be beached.

Nicolai Ourousoff's love letter to the New York Five a few weeks ago--where he lamented the lack of heirs to the throne of Great New York Architects--seemed like a strange missive in the era of Diller + Scofidio Renfro's two huge triumphs this year, not to mention about a hundred other architects (including SHoP!) doing great work.  Yet now it seems not so missive-like, because it is difficult to see if SHoP is merely content to completely redesign Ellerbe Becket's retarded stadium barn, or if they are going to take the next step and slap Bruce Ratner around until the whole complex gets built.  We know that the folks at SHoP easily have the chops to take this on.  Will they?  Our hopes are high.

You know what separates the great architect from the good?  It isn't amazing or even excellent design.  It is the ability to redefine the context of a project.

Atlantic Yards: The First Post

missbrooklyn.jpgAtlantic Yards by Frank O. Gehry: we never liked it. It might be too big. It was a stadium for basketball, a sport we just don't care about and whose only reference point for us is "Madison" "Square" We Knocked Down Pennsylvania Station For This Pile Of Crap "Garden". It had open space on the roof that was accessible by only residents of a bunch of towers. But, it was Frank O., and it was glassy, and it was interesting. It would have densitized (densified?) a neighborhood, adding (more) life but also more traffic, congestion. It was going to amplify the city, this ever-pregnant corner of Brooklyn where it seems like something great should be built but is actually where nothing great has been built, and along with that building would be all the side effects that greatness brings: dirt, noise, change, conflict, and many messy conversations. In short, it was urban.

I took a wait and see attitude: the drawings and models looked somewhat great, but it was difficult to understand how it was going to interact with Brooklyn. Folks were up in arms about it, but these days you have to judge these things for yourself, because what with the internet and all, folks yell about everything in this town, as if every concerned citizen is a self-appointed Jane Jacobs, and every little brick repointing project a city-destroying commission by Robert Moses. Judging for yourself: it is the very purpose of Tropolism. It is what Tropolism means. Watch as the Atlantic Yards Project unfolds, better drawings come out, the project makes its way through court, and something happens, so that you can find your time to weigh in.

What happened you all know, or can easily find out: Gehry designed something awesome, the developer, Forest City Ratner, got all sorts of tax breaks and court victories, many riding on the fact that that particular design was going to be built. Then it turned out that design was too expensive, so Gehry redesigned it and it was less interesting. But OK so what, the central idea was still there, and it was still Frank O.

05gehry_600.jpgThe recent replacement of Frank Gehry as the architect of the project isn't the problem with the new Atlantic Yards design, although Nicolai Ourousoff's reaming article would imply otherwise. Ellerbe Becket doing a super simple and cheaper-design version of Gehry's design would have worked just fine, given that they followed his floor plan and massing outlines to the letter. Instead, the project has simply been redone, shorn of its residences and shops and now it's simply become one of those deadening black holes in the city, just like "Madison" "Square" "Garden". It's a classic, bald-faced bait-and-switch, which is a cute New York way of saying that Forest City Ratner are crooks. They have stolen the public's patience and benefit of the doubt in exchange for their own personal profit. The effect of which is that this part of Brooklyn will be dumb and cold and dead until 2050 when some even more stupid gyration will have to happen in order to renovate the dumb thing that might get built right now.

Atlanticeastbig.jpgThere is some crap glassy entrance so that yes 50,000 people or whatever can stream on through on their way to basketball a few nights a year, but nothing else except a huge box stadium. We get it. The roof looks like a basketball. This is the opposite of great architecture: this is cheeky architecture trying to get on our populist good side, while simultaneously sucking all the life out of our home city. There is no add here, only subtract: subtract money, subtract street life, subtract public conversation, subtract density.

And our great omission has been to not bring up, years ago, that this was a possibility all along. That the devil in Gehry's plan was that if Gehry didn't do his design, and someone did even and almost-version of his design, then the effect would be this drek. Our apologies for being quiet. It won't happen again.

Stadium Seat Mosaics

coke_stadium.jpg

In yet another study in the sublime scale of stadiums, StrangeHarvest gives us dozens of shots surveying the world of stadium seating. As mosaic. We're always a fan of obsessive catalogs.

Water Cube Beijing Opens!

watercube2.jpg

The state-sponsored craziness that we wrote about two years ago is now open! And it looks just like the rendering! The Beijing Water Cube, the National Swimming Center constructed for the Olympic Games, next to a nearly complete Herzog & DeMeuron Bird's Nest Stadium. We think it's stunningly beautiful. Except we're not sure what's crazier, the interior or the exterior.

Via Daily Dose, who has more pictures and links.

Save Highline, And Eat Cookies

railyards_3.jpg

We've always been concerned that the High Line had made a deal with the devil regarding the Rail Yards portion of the tracks. That's the portion above 30th Street. While the hoopla about a West Side Stadium was in full fur mode (way back in 2005), the Friends of the High Line were busy planning and rail banking the rest of the High Line. Of course, anyone who has worked on a design for the High Line knows that the upper 30%, which curls around the West Side Rail Yards, is what gives the High Line the ability to connect, at both ends, to the Hudson River Park, and the water. It is also the end where you can walk from street level smoothly up to High Line level. So why was FTHL giving it up?

The answer, apparently, is that they were simply biding their time. Let the big dogs tear each other to bits. Now, without a plan, direction, or powerful sponsor (or Olympic bid, for that matter) to interfere, the Rail Yards seems ripe for another fresh-faced entrant, and FTHL appears to be eager to garner political and popular support for this important piece of (potential) public space.

FTHL is holding a public gathering, where they will present possibilities for this portion of the High Line, as well as gather comments from the public. Oh, and serve their famous High Line cookies and cider. Chelsea Market Community Space, 75 Ninth Avenue, 6.30pm Thursday December 7. RSVP required, contact [email protected] or 212.206.9922.

New Football Stadium In Arizona

10Stadium.1.600.jpg

It's been a little while since we had a stadium to write about. The New York Times obliges us by publishing an article by Nicolai Ourousoff about the Peter Eiesenman/HOK Sport creation for the Arizona Cardinals' new stadium, Glendale, Arizona. Or, as we put it when we first saw the image above, "Frank Gehry's worst building ever".

The one lovely thing about the project is something the author of the article notes: the way it contrasts with its location.

Moving Madison Square Garden

0620-met-webGARDENmap.gif

While we still have concerns about how, exactly, a stadium is going to sit upon and be accessed through a former post office and future rail station, we were shocked to discover in today's Times that the current plan for Moynihan Station will only take care of 20% of the current riders flowing through Penn Station. The idea of accessing Moynihan Station through the center of the block current occupied by Madison Square Garden is also intriguing. But we're still left with the question: MSG killed one McKim, Mead, and White building; is it going to squish a second one?

Madison Square Garden: Episode VI

2006_02_msg.jpg

Sorry, we skipped an episode of the Madison Square Garden Relocation series. We left you at Episode IV. For those of you that missed it, Episode V included a memorandum of understanding being signed by Cablevision (owner of MSG), and Vornado and Related, all but sealing the deal to move the Garden to be part of the former Post Office but soon-to-be 21st Century rail hub. The lights dimmed as everyone cackled.

This week's installment includes a heady dénoument: the memorandum was NONBINDING. And so there are now two to five celebrity architects involved, two real estate companies, one stadium-owning company, and probably about a dozen state and federal government agencys who will duke it out to see what gets built and who will design it.

Tipped off by the even more annoyed Curbed. One thing we aren't annoyed about: even though we still aren't convinced of the MSG as part of the rail station idea (does anyone else have a big HUH? around this), we would love to see them tear down the existing MSG. We've totally gotten thrilled about that part.

Madison Square Garden: Episode IV

2006_02_msg.jpg

One of the admirable qualities of New Yorkers is that they aren't afraid to look outlandish, ambitious, aggressive, or foolish to get ahead. Unfortunately, this is sometimes played out at such a large scale, with such poor taste and timing, that only the leaders don't get the irony. A great example of this is the chilling and---how shall we put this?--totally unnacceptable conversation about moving Madison Square Garden to a portion of the McKim, Mead, and White building they didn't wipe out the first time around. We don't get how they will preserve the integrity of a post office building with a stadium. Don't. Lockhart over at Curbed (our favorite architecture blogger) calls this better than we will.

When we calm down, we will undoubtedly be tempted by the exciting idea that the existing crapfest MSG, a horrible urban object I must endure on a daily basis, will be demolished. And, the possibility that the players involved in the new Moynihan station will force the MSG folks to play nice. Real nice.

Water Cube: Beijing

watercube_027_m.jpg

Wacky in a way only state-sponsored architecture can be is the National Swimming Center in Beijing, going up right next to another of H&DM's stadiums (no, not this one). The center is enclosed by what appears to be a wall whose structure is an irregular spaceframe (made to resemble the cellular pattern of soap bubbles) and is clad in what appears to be a frosted or patterened glass. All of this from a wonderful photo gallery at Structurae. The building was conceived by Australian-based PTW Architects. Structural design by Arup, of course.

Tipped off by We Make Money, Not Art.

2  

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.