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



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)


Work begins at the Atlantic Yards site this week. Demolition of select properties, to be completed in part by minority- and women-owned firms, is the first step in preparing the site for future construction.




Proposed After

Architectural Record reports on recent developments and concerns over at Atlantic Yards.070124gehry1lg.jpg
I would have to agree with Gehry’s opinion that “the project would be more successful if parts were farmed out to other architects, permitting a variety of styles more akin to an authentic cityscape.” This is the case for most developments – part of the appeal of cities is the diversity, not only of people, but of spaces and contexts. Having worked on larger developments, it is difficult for one office to produce successful variety in it’s designs. Design has a certain inertia, and once one establishes a particular style or approach to a site, aesthetic diversity is near impossible without it becoming some strange stage coach city.

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