By 2017, the first four towers of Hudson Yards will dominate the West Side, creating a colossal mixed-use neighborhood of glassy skyscrapers. The megaproject has been in the works for years, and now that it's finally becoming a reality, it's time for city's archicritics to weigh in on the design. Bloomberg's James Russell shares his mixed feelings about the architecutre in his latest poetic piece, and, like always, we've turned his prose into a free verse poem:
Hudson Yards, is rising again
The design is still a work in progress,
yet could be much richer
than the 2008 confused assortment
that looked like a graveyard of developer castoffs.
Architect Kohn Pederson Fox
will pair the tower rising now with a second,
a multi-story mall between them.
A long, intimidating wall along 10th Avenue,
leavened by tall, glassy entry lobbies at the corners.
The cockeyed towers tilt and fold
into knife-edge peaks as they rise from appendages
in the shape of prisms and skinny wedges.
An observation-deck prow cantilevers
Floor layouts, backward-looking,
energy-inefficient, low-ceilinged norm that's claustrophobic.
By contrast, Coach shows how the buildings should be done
by slicing a dramatic 15-story atrium
so its space could be filled with light.
Two very tall residential towers
rise sheer, like bespoke missile silos, along 11th Avenue.
David Childs, of Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP,
stacks stores, a giant fitness center, offices, a hotel and condominiums
within a silkily rounded 60-story tower
that telescopes into smaller sections as it rises.
The reflective-glass exterior
treated like tufted upholstery
in the 72-story residential tower
by Diller Scofidio & Renfro with the Rockwell Group.
Metal straps cinch the upper half
into rounded columnar forms.
All four towers collide jarringly.
Designs are veneered on,
just like tower clumps
in the instant downtowns of emerging global hubs.
The Culture Shed,
is the only unique element in the entire development.
An exterior carapace of accordion-fold segments
in lacy metal trusswork.
Garaged in a residential tower,
it rolls onto the plaza on railroad tracks as an open-air pavilion.
A richer contribution,
if it opened directly onto the river.
An urban plaza,
could conjure exciting urban spectacle
out of a ballet of movement.
But the icy gigantism of the surrounding buildings is daunting.
An oval surrounded by generic trees and a gushing fountain,
looks as if it had been picked from a catalog.
These items are too feeble for the task.
· Hudson Yards Offers Hot Market Banal Towers, Curvy Condos [Bloomberg]
· Rhyme Time With James Russell archives [Curbed]
· All Hudson Yards coverage [Curbed]