Will Brooklyn Finally Get a World-Class Skyline?

Will brooklyn finally get a world-class skyline?
© New York Magazine

New York grew by dint of ugly architecture. Every celebrated skyscraper rose amid bundles of mid-rise mediocrity. Each masterpiece-producing boom also threw off acres of stupefying repetition. So it’s hardly shocking that a decade of high-rise construction in Brooklyn has brought forth a parade of buildings that an iPhone app could spit out. The ax blade of residential high-rises that slices the borough drives from Brooklyn Bridge Park through Downtown, grazing Fort Greene and reaching into Prospect Heights.

Canyons of cheap window walls and protuberant air conditioners rise along Flatbush Avenue. Call it the Brooklyn Wedge, a nowhere that’s convenient to everywhere. It’s hard to fathom how sentient beings could have devoted so much time, money, and enthusiasm to producing such drear. Well, not that hard: Everyone follows the path of least resistance and then moves on to the next job. The result is an orgy of indifference.

When a newcomer does sport a dash of design, it only accentuates the sadness. Consider Brooklyn’s temporary tallest, 100 Willoughby Street, a.k.a. AVA DoBro, which SLCE Architects “designed” for AvalonBay. The architects speckled the façade of this monolithic mass in an assortment of blue panes, so that it looks as though the builders had raided an odd-lot store. Blue-glass patchwork has become a mystifying New York trend. Bernard Tschumi started it a decade ago with his bulbous Blue condo on the Lower East Side. Christian de Portzamparc followed up with his gaudy 57th Street supertall, One57. Here, it looks like a cheap knockoff of a bad idea.

The Wedge is the partially intended consequence of a plan to revive Downtown: A couple of decades ago, the area cleared out at the end of the business day and the full-time population numbered in the dozens. Then the Bloomberg administration rezoned Downtown in 2004, hoping to stimulate more office space. That didn’t materialize, but apartment towers did. […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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