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April 21, 2012

Newsmaker: Vishaan Chakrabarti

Architectural Record
by Fred A. Bernstein

The "noted urban planner" is at least equal parts real estate developer.

No one has a résumé like Vishaan Chakrabarti, a planner who has darted between the public and private sectors: as a top executive at Related Companies; a director at the New York City Planning Commission; an associate partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; a transportation planner for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; and, most recently, as the director of Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE). In March, Chakrabarti became a partner at SHoP Architects. He will retain his position at Columbia while helping steer the Manhattan firm responsible for such projects as the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn. We recently reached Chakrabarti on his cell phone.
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AR: So you favor increased density?

VC: Yes, in places that are well served by the subway, like Long Island City and Downtown Brooklyn. That’s why we need projects like Atlantic Yards.

AR: Designed by SHoP!

VC: Absolutely! The SHoP plan is tremendous—it’s going to create a great new neighborhood. And the goal to build modular housing could be a game-changer. Prefabricating buildings within New York City, which is what’s really being talked about, could become an important new industry.

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NoLandGrab: Frank Gehry redux? Or has Chakrabarti forgotten that there was a neighborhood there already before Bruce Ratner unleashed the bulldozers.

Posted by eric at April 21, 2012 10:45 AM