Monday, December 07, 2009

Comparing the Gehry arena outline/orientation with its successor, thanks to an Ellerbe Becket interior design

So, how has the planned Atlantic Yards arena changed?

No rendering of the interior of Frank Gehry's Atlantic Yards arena design was ever released, to my knowledge, but we did get a schematic of the arena block, via the Design Guidelines attached to the 2006 Modified General Project Plan. (Click on graphics to enlarge.)



Nor has a rendering of the interior of the new Ellerbe Becket design (now with a facade by SHoP) been officially released, but I did get one, thanks to a Freedom of Information Law request to the New York City Department of City Planning.

Smaller arena, different orientation

A few things seem clear. The arena is smaller--some 675,000 square feet (vs. 850,000 sf) and oriented on an east-west axis, paralleling Atlantic Avenue, rather than turned somewhat to more closely parallel Flatbush Avenue.

Also, the footprints of the surrounding towers, should they ever be built, seem more distinctly separate from the smaller arena. Originally, the arena block building were to share mechanical systems, but now, with a much more attenuated building schedule, the buildings would be discrete entities.


Closing Fifth Avenue

Also notable: it would be possible to keep Fifth Avenue open, but only if the arena were turned ninety degrees, as suggested by the Municipal Art Society. One tower would be sacrificed as well, but, as we know, there are no plans at the time to construct the office tower known as Building 1. However, that space is designed for the main entrance to the arena, an "urban plaza"--no, "Urban Experience"--that once was supposed to be the Urban Room.

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