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November 22, 2011

A "Brooklyn version of Roppongi Hills"? Could densifying New York make Atlantic Yards site look like Tokyo?

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder takes issue with New York Magazine architecture critic Justin Davidson's contention that Atlantic Yards could be like Tokyo's Roppongi Hills neighborhood.

First of all, the term "at Atlantic Yards" obscures the nature of the site. "Atlantic Yards" is the name for a proposed dense development site, in some cases--like a good chunk of the 100 feet east of Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific streets--not yet controlled by the developer or state.

Nor is an "arena surrounded by a vast hole." Actually, the site is long, not round, as with Roppongi Hills, at [right] (map credit here).

The arena's got some spaces bordering it for future development, and a temporary plaza. There's a huge surface parking lot two blocks away, a yet-unbuilt skyscraper site occupied by P.C. Richard/Modell's (aka Site 5), and a mostly working railyard that's undergoing reconstruction.

A "Brooklyn version of Roppongi Hills"?

Arguably, the original project plan--an arena wrapped by four towers would something closer to the spirit of Roppongi Hills. However, that plan included ideas already scotched, such as a park and running track on the arena roof.

The rest of the Atlantic Yards site, given its increased distance from transit, makes it an even less likely candidate to be Roppongi Hills.

According to Virtual Japan, the 27-acre Roppongi Hills emphasizes both height and public space, with fewer than 800 apartments (versus 6430 planned for Atlantic Yards), meaning that the density refers to office/cultural/retail uses more than residential....

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Posted by eric at November 22, 2011 1:16 PM