Five Alternate Views of Atlantic Yards Coming to Prospect Heights Gallery

By Rachel Holliday Smith on May 29, 2014 5:12pm 

 This rendering of the Atlantic Yards project by the architecture firm OPerA Studio is one of five alternative plans for the development soon to be on display at a Prospect Heights gallery.
This rendering of the Atlantic Yards project by the architecture firm OPerA Studio is one of five alternative plans for the development soon to be on display at a Prospect Heights gallery.
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Thomas Barry/OPerA Studio

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — It may be years before the neighborhood sees Atlantic Yards fully built, but for those who can’t help wondering what could be, Warehouse623 has the perfect exhibit.

Starting next week, the Bergen Street gallery will host designs by five different architecture firms that envision how the Atlantic Yards project could look using the square footage and physical footprint of the project outlined by developer Forest City Ratner.

Thomas Barry, principal at the architecture firm OPerA Studio and organizer of the exhibit, said the show, which is free and open to the public, is intended to present a “viable alternative to what Ratner has proposed.”

“I think it would be a missed opportunity to not really talk about what shape this type of development can take,” he said. “We all have an interest in what our cities look like in the future.”

Barry said the exhibit will feature 3D models of each firm’s plan as well as drawings.

One rendering from Matthias Altwicker and Farzana Gandhi shows green space, atriums and housing stacked within an enormous, multi-block structure with a steely, grid-like facade. A more dramatic approach from Barry’s own firm shows a massive, sloping housing structure built on a diagonal plane crisscrossed with walkways, landscaping and windows of apartments.

Forest City Ratner has said Atlantic Yards will add 6 million square feet of residential space to the area, comprised of 6,400 units of housing. The plan from the developer also calls for 247,000 square feet of retail space and 336,000 square feet of office space.

An inquiry to Forest City Ratner about the exhibition was not immediately answered. Barry said he has not made the company aware of the show yet, but plans to invite representatives to see it — and hopes other big names in city real estate come, too.

“I want to try to inspire them to reach a higher level,” he said.

The show is open to the entire community, especially those interested in how Atlantic Yards turns out.

“I have hope that public opinion can sway the way these things go,” he said.

Five Proposals for the Future of Atlantic Yards” will open at the Warehouse623 gallery at 623 Bergen St. on June 5 at 6 p.m. The show will run through June 22 and is free and open to the public during gallery hours.

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