|Current rendering, from SHoP, helicopter perspective|
Early in the meeting, Ashley Cotton, Forest City Ratner's Director of External Affairs, described the projects at hand.
"First, the green roof. This is an amazing amenity," she said enthusiastically, "it was something that we had always planned for in Atlantic Yards--people who have been following the project for years probably saw early drawings with it. And, frankly, we built the building with the hope we that we could bring it one day."
Really? That ignores the history, such as the much-promoted plans for public space that led New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp to rhapsodize in his 12/11/03 review about "Courtside Seats to an Urban Garden." And the far less-promoted disclosure in May 2008 that the green roof was gone.
As for the longstanding plans, well, why did Forest City never say, upon launching the new arena design, that they planned a green roof? Maybe because a good part of the reason is to tamp down bass escaping from the building.
Also, I'd bet, because saying they planned a green roof to improve the view for new tower residents would provoke an obvious question: why are you then putting the Barclays logo on the non-green roof?
Also see June 2009 ESD Technical Memorandum:
The arena roof would not incorporate stormwater detention tanks, a green roof, or rooftop private open space. Instead, the detention tanks would be located in the base of the arena and enlarged to accommodate the additional stormwater load associated with the elimination of the green roof.
Those green Chinese
Cotton continued her enthusiastic presentation. "The Greenland Group—again the partner that we hope to sign the JV [joint venture] with in the month of June," Cotton said, "is particularly excited about this. Again, their name's Greenland Group, they're very interested in open space and green amenities."
Really? Greenland is likely excited about this because the company--according to this description of its Hong Kong affiliate--"has relentlessly upheld its mission of 'Create better life' by realizing the goals of the government and serving the demands of the market for more than 20 years."
That doesn't sound particularly green, especially since the firm also engages in coal production and petroleum storage.
"I think it will be excellent, obviously, for the tenants up and around it," Cotton said in a moment of candor. "It will also be an amenity for anyone who, y'know, can see the roof and the project area on a regular basis.”
|2003 announcement, Frank Gehry design|
"--this has nothing to do with that?" asked Ettlinger.
"It's not an amenity," Marshall responded, "there’s no [public] access."
"Well, I know that, it's that you said the green roof has always been planned?" Ettlinger continued. "But I--that shocked me because--"
"It was actually planned twice," continued Marshall.
"The green roof?" continued Ettlinger.
"Yes," responded Marshall.
Actually, Marshall's statement deflates the notion that the green roof has always been planned.
Rather, something green on the roof has twice been planned. In the earlier case, the amenity was public access. In the current case, the amenity is something to view.
As I wrote in April, the green roof is not part of the current environmental review, the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that is expected to be approved this month by Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing/shepherding Atlantic Yards.