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February 21, 2007

This Guy Wants You to Love Atlantic Yards

Laurie Olin, the landscape architect behind Battery Park City and Bryant Park, faces a tough challenge in central Brooklyn. Not that he’s worried.

NY Observer
By Matthew Schuerman

Olin-NYO.jpgLaurie Olin sez, "Americans are frightened of density. Europe is not.” Has anyone told Olin that Atlantic Yards would eclipse the density of European cities, except for maybe the project outside of Paris?

The Observer sits down with Ratner's landscape architect (also known as the guy brought on board to harmonize Gehry's work to the neighborhood). Here are some really choice quotes:

“Holy smokes! That many thousands of people in such a tight space, and to try to give them something wonderful that they’ll love. That’s fun. It’s hard, too.”

“It’s a great project, if it all happens,” he said. “The time calendar we are talking about is probably 20 years. People say 10 to 15, but take a look. How long does it take the market to absorb that much stuff?”

“Various architects who have specialized in doing residential towers will probably be brought in to be the architect of record anyway, even if design architects like Frank Gehry or other personalities give image and shape to them,” Mr. Olin told The Observer.

Of course, these could just be the musings of a dotty old designer, because Forest City Ratner's Jim Stuckey says otherwise, and you know Stuckey never lies:

“Laurie has his views,” countered Jim Stuckey, executive vice president of Forest City Ratner. “We don’t believe it is going to take 20 years. We expect that it will take 10.” He added, “Frank Gehry will be the architect on every one of them.”

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NoLandGrab: At this point, only Ratner spokespersons seem willing to insist that Atlantic Yards might only take 10 years to build.

Posted by lumi at February 21, 2007 9:29 PM