Thursday, December 08, 2011

If Bruce Ratner says "it's taken us a while to get there on the architecture," why do prefab plans look like Atlantic Lots?

From the New York Observer's 12/7/11 article The Mod Squad: Will Bruce Ratner Transform the Way New York Builds, or Is Prefab Another Project Too Far?:
“It’s taken us a while to get there on the architecture,” Mr. Ratner told The Observer last month on the day he unveiled his new plans for a modular approach at Atlantic Yards. “We did a lot of work to make sure it was something appropriate, in fitting in with the arena and a good reflection on Brooklyn, the city and our country.”
Oh, really?

The Atlantic Yards resemblance, and disavowal

Actually, as I reported 11/17/11, the renderings of prefab towers by SHoP (above and bottom) look a lot like the generic renderings of Atlantic Yards buildings created in May 2008 for the Municipal Art Society's Atlantic Lots plan, which aimed less to show architecture than to depict the impact of an extended fallow period.

And (as I didn't point out last month) a Forest City spokesman, speaking to the 5/5/08 New York Post, disavowed any comparison:
"If MAS thinks that this resembles our project in any way, they are not only greatly mistaken they're doing themselves and the public a great disservice," said Ratner spokesman Loren Riegelhaupt. "Frankly, this is so far from anything even remotely resembling what we are building that it's not worth commenting on further."
Riegelhaupt has since left Forest City. Otherwise he might have to eat his words.

2008 MAS renderings (looking west from Vanderbilt Avenue)


2011 SHoP renderings (from Dean Street and Sixth Avenue, looking northwest)

Here are the new modular renderings.

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