February 21, 2007
Laurie Olin Report?
Atlantic Yards Report
Norman Oder checks Laurie Olin's math and reviews some of the designer's assumptions from the interview in The Observer.
No wonder why developer Forest City Ratner doesn't let architect Frank Gehry and nor (apparently) let landscape architect Laurie Olin meet with members of the public concerned about Atlantic Yards. The artists are just too candid.
Gehry admitted, in January 2006, that "we're out of whack" with the scale of the project. (He was back on message by May, decrying protesters as people who "should've been picketing Henry Ford.")
Now, in a New York Observer story this week by Matthew Schuerman, Olin projects that the development would take twice as long as projected and that Gehry, would not design the whole thing.
One of the weirder pronouncements by Laurie Olin was, "Americans are frightened of density. Europe is not.”
Oh yeah? According to Norman Oder, "he's ignoring the fact that Atlantic Yards would be way more dense than Europe."
And he's ignoring the fact that Atlantic Yards would be way more dense than Europe. The Observer's Matthew Schuerman last year calculated that the density at Atlantic Yards would be "between 436,363 and 523,636 people per square mile." (Actually, the lower figure is probably a little high by now, given slight cuts in the residential density.)
And what does Paris, the densest city in Europe, look like? A 1999 statistic says 63,298 residents per square mile. Another stat from Britannica (also apparently 1999) says similarly. The core of Paris is low-rise; the "extreme density" of Paris occurs in the high-rise suburban towers for the poor, the locus of social dysfunction.
Posted by lumi at February 21, 2007 10:07 PM