February 3, 2005
If people dont like it, shrink
it. Then hide it.
This seems a major rationale behind the
redesign unveiled today for the New York Sports and Convention
Center, aka the New York Jets Stadium, which may or may not
sit on the far west side of Manhattan as the centerpiece of
a new Hudson Yards district.
The new plan, unveiled by Jets President
Jay Cross as well as Kohn Pedersen Fox principal Bill Pedersen,
is both smaller and quieter than its previous iteration; a
nod to complaints of grandiosity and a lack of urban integration
from community members and design experts.
The new façade is dominated by
a semi-transparent glass veil which cloaks the
stadium, emphasizing lightness, say its designers, by hovering
over the lower portions of the exterior and never touching
the ground. The design, they add, is designed to reflect the
complexity and scale of the neighborhoods future instead
of the titanic-sized industrial past of the harbor, which
was the old designs inspiration. Pedersen adds that
the building, whose veil subtly folds at entrances, is designed
to become very quiet on the sky, and much more intense
at the street level.
To further stress a neighborhood scale,
the design is almost 40% shorter, lacking the old stadiums
planned wind turbines (the Jets say that wind energy for the
project will now be harvested upstate). A massive LCD screen
on the east façade, designed by Bruce Mao Design, helps
emphasize the horizontality of the building, drawing focus
to the four to five stories instead of the entire mass of
The stadiums fate is likely to
be decided later this month as lawsuits continue to be settled
and the city and state grapple over go-ahead. On first impression,
many community critics seem unswayed by the new plans, still
worried about the projects size, its blockage of the
waterfront, and the disruptions it will bring to the neighborhood.
They can clad it in whatever they
want, its not going to mask that its a stadium,
says local architect and activist Meta Brunzema. I dont
think anyones opinion will be affected by this new design."