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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

SHoP's Chris Sharples: we aimed to "turn the arena into a civic gesture." Sure, but add a few asterisks.

From Redshift, by Autodesk, 9/4/18, SHoP’s Chris Sharples on Urban Architecture, Digital Fabrication, and the Public Realm:
Can you share the design inspiration behind the Barclays Center in Brooklyn? 
One of the keys to creating an urban architectural experience is world-class public spaces. Our aspiration for the Barclays Center was to imagine how we could turn the arena into a civic gesture. With its 30-foot-high entrance canopy and the oculus the size of a basketball court, even if people don’t go there for an event, they feel that they are a part of something. Unlike other arenas, Barclays prioritizes mass transit; more than 80 percent of the people coming via public transportation arrive into this great urban space. Like Bernini’s “arms” at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, there is a strong connection between the building and the public space that surrounds it.
Sharples can rightly express pride in his firm's achievement, rescuing and transforming a dull box into a memorable structure. That said, his statement deserves a couple of asterisks. 

First, the oculus and the plaza--the Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza--are not just civic spaces but places for branding, advertising, and private-access events.

Second, the plaza is accidental, and relies on the decision by the developer, originally Forest City Ratner, to decouple the arena from the four towers that were supposed to be built simultaneously, including, notably, B1 (aka "Miss Brooklyn"), the flagship tower rising over the wedge made by Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

The Atlantic Yards project would never have been built without the office jobs projection associated with B1, and the developer--now Greenland Forest City Partners, dominated by Greenland USA--now aims to move the bulk of B1 across Flatbush Avenue to Site 5, though the public process for (inevitable) approval hasn't started yet. 



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