In the midst of a heated debate (and an ongoing lawsuit) over whether there should even be more housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park at all comes news that 14 different designs for two development sites near Pier 6 are under consideration. The 14 sets of renderings for the affordable towers were submitted by some very big-name architects, from Bjarke Ingels Group to H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture to FXFOWLE and many more, following a request for proposals in May. The Journal was first to publish details of the plans, which Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation members will discuss at a meeting today. Seeing as how that meeting is slated to be staked out by protesters rallying against high-rise construction in the park, and the Times devoted a bunch of words to unpacking the scuffle just this past weekend, it seems thatdespite these shiny new renderingsthis project won't scurry along to completion as speedily as its wildly successful condo neighbors to the north, One Brooklyn Bridge Park and the under-construction Pierhouse.
Before we get to the 14 proposals, though, let's get situated. This is the precise location of the two towers' sites. Pier 6 is directly west of where Atlantic Avenue ends at the BQE. The first site is closer to the water, right next to One Brooklyn Bridge Park (which is pictured in most of the renderings), and can be up to 315 feet (about 31 stories) with 290 apartments. Meanwhile, the second site is set back from the water and will be shorter. Its maximum height is 155 feet (15 or so stories), with 140 residential units and ground-floor retail.
The part that's riling up the community? The mandate from Mayor de Blasio that 30 percent of the project be made up of affordable housing. When it was announced in May, neighbors immediately recoiled, and in July, many banded together and filed a lawsuit to block the development and call for extra analysis of its impact on the environment. Some presumably stuck-up residents simply don't want affordable housing in their midst, while others don't want more housing at all to taint the green space, or are opposed to towers blocking views. Money from all the developments is used to maintain the park.
The reason that proposals were still accepted and are being considered today is due to a judge's order, according to the Journal, and the plan is to decide on an architect by the end of the year. Presuming the lawsuit gets resolved, groundbreaking would occur in 2015. And now for the fun part: the designs.
Vying for the commission are most of the major players in the NYC architecture world right now: Alloy Design + Bjarke Ingels Group; Asymptote Architecture; BKSK Architects + Aufgang Architects; Davis Brody Bond; Future Expansion + SBN Architects; FXFOWLE Architects; H3 Hardy Collaboration Architects; Marvel Architects; Morris Adjmi Architects; NV/da + O'Neill McVoy Architects; Pelli Clarke Pelli; S9 Architecture (Perkins Eastman), Selldorf Architects; and WASA Studio A.
The proposals vary widely in their creativity; some are blocky and boxy, while others are angular and sleek. The teams also opted to prioritize different amenities and features. There's a nursery school in one, a pool prominently displayed in another, plus things like public restrooms and a bike-repair station.
Team 1: Alloy Design + Bjarke Ingels Group
Team 2: Asymptote Architects
Team 3: BKSK + Aufgang
Team 4: Davis Brody Bond
Team 5: Future Expansion + SBN Architects
Team 6: FXFOWLE
Team 7: H3 Hardy Collaboration Architects
Team 8: Marvel Architects
Team 9: Morris Adjmi Architects
Team 10: NV/da + O'Neill McVoy Architects
Team 11: Pelli Clarke Pelli
Team 12: S9 Architecture: Perkins Eastman
Team 13: Selldorf Architects
Team 14: WASA Studio A
The chain of events is similar to that preceding another under-construction residential site in Brooklyn Bridge Park: John Street. Eleven entrants submitted designs, and the winner was Alloy Development and Monadnock Development's boxy, glassy thing with 42 condos. Will Alloy emerge on top again, or will it be one of the other 13 contenders?
· Pier 6 RFP Responses Design Presentation [PDF]
· Designs Emerge for Brooklyn Park Project [WSJ]
· The Battle of Brooklyn Bridge Park [NYT]
· Neighbors Sue to Prevent Housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park [Curbed]
· Brooklyn Bridge Park Seeks Developer For Final Condo Site [Curbed]
· All Brooklyn Bridge Park coverage [Curbed]