Downtown Brooklyn presents a layered, seemingly impenetrable wall when viewed from Brooklyn Heights. The composition, especially with the oblique view of Borough Hall, seems designed as a purposeful representation of the city while it simultaneously denies continuity and the expansiveness to the neighborhoods beyond.
Pope's monumental buildings in Washington DC exude a timeless repose through finely crafted limestone, refined profiles, delicate articulating lines, and bold expanses of solid wall.
Landscape and buildings take on a mystical quality in the light.
Sketching is a vital part of investigation of place, of the human perception of space and perspective. Sketching as a process intensely connects the mind, eye and hand.
Below are graphic explorations of the un-modulated curtain wall of the Citicorp Center tower. Towers conceived for the perspective of the skyline often are developed as monolithic objects. Articulation and differentiation to interest the eye are foreign to this conception. Here the flush wall reigns.
Tuesday's event brought a sizable crowd of students, faculty, administrators, local activists, designers, and politicians to City Tech to explore all the ways Brooklyn's downtown is evolving and what challenges need to be addressed to improve the neighborhood as it grows.
Ryan Grew from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership presented that latest work on the Brooklyn Strand. Caroline Samponaro from Transportation Alternatives made a passionate plea for improved streets and public space. Mike Lydon from Street Plans presented the latest work on the streetscape redesign for Jay Street. And Jessica Dailey from Curbed NY reviewed the significant shift away from office development to residential development in Downtown Brooklyn and the need to reconsider the zoning changes of 2004. I took the audience through a timeline of development changes to better understand how previous generations impacted the neighborhood in significant ways.
Making opening remarks to kick off the event was New York Council Member Stephen Levin, who emphasized the importance of safer streets, noting his vote earlier that day to reduce the speed limit to 25 mph in New York City.
Prof. Shepard, Eric McClure and I are very pleased that this event brought together this diverse group of experts who helped set a broad context for a deep discussion of the challenges but also great potential for this important urban quarter of New York City.
Jason has organized a symposium titled Rethinking Jay Street at the New York City College of Technology where a number of experts on urban design, transportation, real estate, street scape and public space design join Jason and co organizers Prof. Ben Shepard and Eric McClure to discuss the future of Brooklyn's Downtown neighborhood.