Sliver, aka the Manhattanization of Brooklyn

“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.” ― Bill Watterson


Beauty has a price.  And a tremendous one at that.  SHoP Architects, the firm behind the Barclays Center in New York City’s Brooklyn, learned this―and not in a totally enthusiastic way―when it unveiled designs for the borough’s tallest structure, upsetting a large swath of New Yorkers in the process.  There is no question their building, 9 DeKalb Avenue, is gorgeous, its signature feature being a series of vertical bronze accents, a subtle nod to the historic Brooklyn Dime Savings Bank with which the proposed tower would share part of its footprint.

9 DeKalb Avenue-02

© SHoP Architects


The issue, however, is not with the building itself, but the precedent it may set and which may set Brooklyn on a development path from which it cannot escape.  Local residents are concerned the tower will have long-term, serious consequences on the neighborhood, located between Brooklyn Heights and Bed-Stuy, thereby shifting it from its claim of authenticity to one thriving on purely commercial interests.  They do not want the downtown area, and as a natural extension of this, the entire borough, characterized by the overdevelopment of tall, slender buildings, a trend that has gone nearly unabated with its sister borough, Manhattan.  Midtown, for example, at Central Park South, has a number of them and the long shadows they cast over the Park, particularly during the shorter daylight hours of Fall and Winter, has robbed the area of the solemn peace that accompanies the winter solstice.  Their argument, and its valid one, is that Manhattan’s skyline, although dazzling, causes the eventual eradication of the neighborhoods below and that’s precisely what sets Brooklyn apart.

9 DeKalb Avenue-03

© SHoP Architects

 

 

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The City that Never Sleeps…

…has arguably the most recognizable skyline in the world.  And it’s about to become even more unique.  An unsightly area, a scar if you will, on the City’s West Side is about to be transformed.

Hudson Yards

© 2015

When the ambitious and massive project is completed, the unused and run-down area will morph into the new Hudson Yards redevelopment, creating a brand new neighborhood, to be known not only for the glass prisms marking its boundaries but also for its noteworthy green initiatives :  there is an onsite generator, a car and pedestrian traffic efficiency system, and trash recycling center to be completed underneath.  Sixteen new towers will surround a new mixed-use plaza bordering the Hudson Boulevard and Park.

Hudson Yards-01

© Bloomberg News

If all goes as planned, San Francisco’s skyline…

Image

© 2013 Cesar Clarke Pelli Architects

…will undergo a massive transformation in the next few years, the most obvious of which will be a new glass tower, the city’s tallest, replacing the iconic pyramid-topped TransAmerican building in that statistic.  That new tower, sensuously designed, is just one of the many features of world-renowned architect Cesar Clarke Pelli’s new Transbay Transit Center, a block-long urban project featuring a new transit hub for bus and rail lines, an amphitheater, cycle paths and a rooftop park with plenty of green space in the heart of downtown San Francisco.  To continue reading the Architecture page, click here.