A quilted city within the City

Monday 27 Apr 2015

Quilted City is an alternative proposal by JZA + D for the development of Brooklyn's old Atlantic Yards

Future Projects are concepts or creations, which push a specific typology forward and embrace a holistic and effective approach to architecture. WAN will be featuring a selection of Future Projects Award entries in conjunction with WAN Awards, in our new Future Project of the week series. This week’s Future Project is the Quilted City.  

The urban renewal area of the old Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, recently renamed Pacific Park, is a mixed-use residential development currently under construction. Quilted City is an alternative, proposal for the development. This speculative design by JZA + D aims to establish a dialogue with developers, government officials and citizens, reminding them that for projects such as these, the entire community is the client.

The proposed development, 185,000 sq ft at its top level, unifies the neighbourhoods around the rail yards by inserting a layered public space at the site's centre, creating a more active, open, and varied environment. Quilted City responds to the size and scale of context, creating new green space and breezeways, and relocating the Atlantic Terminal regional railroad stop to the site's west end.

Arranged in layers, the first layer of the scheme defines the edges, mirroring the height of structures along Pacific Street and Dean Street, two secondary arteries. Commercial activity at ground level extends underground and into the concourse below. Upper floors are devoted to residences. The scale of individual residential buildings increases toward the site's centre, and their positioning moulds a series of public spaces. The largest of these, on the scale of Manhattan's Times Square, aligns itself axially with Barclay’s Arena and the proposed relocated rail terminal.

The terminal relocation animates the new site's internal green space, providing an on going source of pedestrian life and movement. Heavy foot traffic around the site makes this plaza a community asset: a gateway into Brooklyn and an urban ‘living room’.

The quilted layers of this urban design concept create a city within the city and a nexus for surrounding neighbourhoods, generating vitality while preserving scale and existing views. The setbacks and public spaces ensure uninterrupted lines of sight throughout the various layers.

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