Atlantic Yards

As urban areas are becoming more desirable places to live, more building is occurring to accommodate the needs of new and future residents. As the money/economics allow for the growth, the growth will continue. I wrote here about the economics behind high rise developments.


Rendering, Fordham Spire, Chicago IL

In many locations, the current building boom is the market correcting itself – making up for lost time, when progress and change was unable to happen (sometimes due to over priced land in an undesirable location) for a number of years.


View of model, Atlantic Yards, Brooklyn, NYC



With so much talk and importance of all things green, it was becoming increasingly difficult to judge what green really meant. So, a number of years ago, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed and developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System to quantify ‘green’. Now LEED is the “nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.” Today, a number of project specific LEED certifications are available, including New Commercial Construction and Major Renovations, Commercial Interiors, Homes and Neighborhood Development. You can search the USGBC Registered Projects directory here for projects in your area.


111 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL – Gold LEED Core & Shell

Numerous government agencies are requiring LEED ratings for major projects to be allowed to go forward. The United States General Services Administration (GSA) Public Building Service (the government body that oversees federal buildings in design, construction and maintenance) requires LEED certification (at a minimum) for new and major renovation projects and encourages the pursuit of LEED Silver rating. One current LEED Gold rated federal building is the Byron G. Rogers U.S. Courthouse in Denver, Colorado, shown below.

Each version of LEED assigns points in a variety of areas, with minimum thresholds set for each rating level to be achieved (registered, certified, silver, gold, and platinum). Let’s take the New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED_NC) as an example. The project checklist identifies the following areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation & Design Process. Each of those areas have anywhere from 2 to 25 opportunities to earn credits towards any given rating. For further reading, I suggest exploring the extensive USGBC website.

A number of high profile projects are pursuing LEED ratings.


Atlantic Yards is pursuing LEED certification for all residential buildings and LEED Silver rating for the stadium.

Federal Building in San Francisco is pursuing a Silver rating

American architect Frank Gehry has become what so many young architects dream of – well known in the field as well as to the general public (rare – the only other really being Frank Lloyd Wright), successfully and repeatedly carrying out his own vision of architecture, as well as ample opportunities to design beyond buildings.
In 1978 Gehry completed his own Santa Monica House. Early on in his career, he worked in more common materials, on a few occasions even incorporating chain link fence into the design. “Personally, I hate chain link. I got involved with it because it was invevitably being used around my buildings. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”, Gehry has stated on numerous occasions
FOG Residence

Gehry Santa Monica residence
1989 Pritzker Prize Laureate, Frank Gehry has since continued his pursuit of sculptural form in architecture. Working in what many call postmodern architecture, he is constantly pursuing his vision, which in many ways transcends a particular style. This pursuit is actually very modern – Gehry is working in his own language, developing it, testing it in every work that gets built. He is not inventing a new architecture every morning. He his committed to developing his vision of creating joyful architecture.
In 1997, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain was completed. Almost overnight, it became THE destination. This work secured Gehry in the annals of architectural and cultural history.
FOG bilbao

Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain
So significant was this work of architecture, the Bilbao effect began to occur. Many cities clamored for a Gehry. The Simpsons even featured Gehry in an episode.
FOG Simpsons

Gehry, on The Simpsons
In the decade since Bilbao, Gehry has been busy. Some furniture,


FOG TIffany

Selection of Gehry-designed pieces at Tiffany and Co.
and more and more architecture…

FOG Chicago

Chicago Millenium Park Pritzker Pavillion

One of the major projects he and his office has on the boards, Atlantic Yards.


Atlantic Yards, model of “Miss Brooklyn”

Still working at full force at 78, Frank Gehry is an icon of our age. His body of work is unlike anything that came before. His passion for joyful architecture is inspiration for young architects. Though it is at this time unclear the effect Gehry’s sculptural forms will have on the future of architecture, it has surely made its impact on architectural and cultural history.

Laurie Olin, FASLA, established the first incarnation of his firm, Olin Partnership, in 1976. More than thirty years later, Mr. Olin has developed landscapes and master plans for universities, international companies, government bodies and numerous other clients.

“The firm takes a long term view of design, believing that strong, clear schemes supported by innovative detailing and fine, lasting materials are essential to melding social needs with physical resources. Design that provides functional accommodation, symbolic meaning, and aesthetic richness can make timeless human environments.” From Olin Partnership “Philosophy.”

Past projects include University of Pensylvania master plan, Art Institute of Chicago gardens, and Battery Park City master plan. Current projects include…

Atlantic Yards,

and Washington Monument modifications.

Olin has long collaborated with Peter Eisenmann. “During their twenty-five years of collaboration, Olin and Eisenman have developed a unique approach to site development where neither the building nor the surrounding environment is given priority,” from Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.

From ICA:Fertilizers: Olin / Eisenman

In addition to these large and highly visible projects, Olin continues to teach and write, influencing future generations of Landscape architects.

Curbed offers a summary of what’s going on over at Atlantic Yards.


Brownstoner reports on the recently released Atlantic Yards Financial Projections.


Much of the housing stock in cities across the country is a result of efforts by developers. Without delving into the politics and/or urban appropriateness of one solution type over another, I’d like to take a look at some of the current socio-economic factors guiding today’s real estate market, after highlighting some of the new, under construction and planned high rises in Brooklyn:


Atlantic Yards

J Condos
J Condominium see other 2 other DUMBO projects and a neighborhood blog Dumbo NYC, Brooklyn

Oro Condos Under Construction

Oro Condos (under construction) 306 Gold Street and the sister building at 313 Gold street

Williamsburg Savings Bank

One Hanson Place (former Williamsburgh Savings Bank)


Next Page »