Even though the event was officially the second community information session promised by the Empire State Development Corporation, it was essentially a continuing education session sponsored by the AIA NY, with probably at least half the people in the room architects.
The moderator, AIA New York executive director Rick Bell, kept the discussion limited to design issues, despite the distinct desire of several people in the room to go beyond that.
(All videography by Jonathan Barkey; editing by Norman Oder.)
The design behind the arena
Pasquarelli and Crockett explain some of the design ideas.
More design details
Pasquarelli talks about massing, elevations, lighting, materials.
What happens to the oculus/canopy if Building 1 is built? Pasquarelli explains the options.
Pasquarelli explains the concept behind the arena setbacks.
Keep Fifth Avenue open?
The architects shrug at the notion of keeping Fifth Avenue open.
Arena in an urban setting
Crockett is asked what steps have been taken to site the arena in a residential neighborhood. His answer focuses on retail at the base--a step up from arenas with blank walls--but 9-5 retail reflects more the Atlantic Center Mall than the surrounding neighborhood. He doesn't talk about the role of interim surface parking.
Comparison to other arenas
Crockett compares the planned Atlantic Yards arena to the Verizon Center in DC and says the AY arena will be better.
Process questions, round one
Moderator Bell explains that process questions are being set aside and he takes full responsibility.
Process questions, round two
Bell again says there will be no process questions, just design questions. Architect and urban planner Ron Shiffman, an opponent of the project, says you can't divorce ethics from architecture.
Getting to the point
Bell, who quoted from basketball autobiographies and poetry in an effort to nudge the audience's consciousness, here quotes from Pablo Neruda. Some were frustrated, and one person in the audience heckles, asking him to get to the questions.
Who's in charge here?
Dean Street resident Peter Krashes questions ESDC VP Darren Bloch after the meeting, complaining that there was insufficient notice and insufficient opportunity to ask questions--and no opportunity to submit comments to the ESDC, given that the comment period is no longer open. Then Krashes and AYR's Norman Oder question moderator Bell, who says he has no idea how an architects' continuing ed session became an ESDC meeting.