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

Documents show design of two towers shifted toward Atlantic Avenue, given use of "bump" for residential cellars

The big news, as I reported, is that the first of two phases for the platform over the Vanderbilt Yard is expected to take three years. That's between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, and Sixth and Carlton Avenues, the western half of the railyard.

The second phase— again between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, then between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues—should prove more challenging. The columns will have to be erected in the midst of a seven-track railyard, in contrast with the western block, which has only a passageway track.


Moreover, that eastern block needs a full platform, while the western block does not require full coverage, given that those "bump" parcels will be used for residential cellars, as shown in the screenshot above.

How massing on western block has changed

The documents also show how the topography of the western block apparently has caused two towers to shift closer to Atlantic Avenue than previously contemplated, or portrayed.

The design of the first three towers, B5 through B7 over Block 1120, seems driven significantly by structural engineering issues.

Consider: while B5, the tower at the west end bordering Sixth Avenue, would extend south toward Pacific Street somewhat, the neighboring towers, B6 and B7, would not.

See the rendering at right, published in the New York Post 9/30/19, as well as the screenshot below, without tower massing in red, from the developer's Request for Qualifications for Construction Management Services.

Reaching toward Atlantic Avenue

The B6 and B7 towers appear more flush toward Atlantic Avenue. That allows the buildings to rely significantly on the terra firma at the "bump." and allows the platform to be devoted used more significantly for open space. Larger patches of green will be between the towers and Pacific Street, making that green space more public.

The available topography has clearly shaped the building design, documents show. 

Consider: an earlier rendering, from the June 2014 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, shows the three towers on Block 1120 as extending far closer to Pacific Street.

That rendering, below, is consistent with previous images showing the layout of the towers. It surely was the creative vision of Frank Gehry, the original project architect and master planner.

Now, the issue of practicality holds sway. 

Even the B5 tower, at the far west end of the sequence, has changed. Though B5 does extend closer to Pacific Street than its neighbors, a revised design was approved recently to accommodate site constraints, notably work at the railyard below.

Either way, it has more of an L shape, while five years ago it was envisioned as more than a rectangle.

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