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ESDC B4 Tech Memo, Oct. 17, 2013 meeting

ESDC B4 Tech Memo, Oct. 17, 2013 meeting

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Published by AYReport
ESDC B4 Tech Memo, Oct. 17, 2013 meeting
ESDC B4 Tech Memo, Oct. 17, 2013 meeting

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Published by: AYReport on Oct 17, 2013
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1
M E M O R A N D U MTO:
File
FROM:
Rachel Shatz
DATE:
October 8, 2013
RE:
 
Modifications to Design Guideline Drawings
SK-1935,
SK-1943 and SK-1944 for Building4 of the Atlantic Yards Project
 
Design & Construction (“D&C”) staff of Empire State Development (“ESD”) has
reviewed the request
made by Forest City Ratner Companies (“FCRC”) to
approve modifications to three of the drawings(specifically, Drawings SK-1935, SK-1943 and SK-1944) that are included in Appendix 1 to the DesignGuidelines
(“D
esign Guidelines
”)
for the Atlantic Yards Land Use Improvement and Civic Project (the
“Project”)
. Those drawings relate to the footprint and
massing of Building 4 (“B4”), to be constructed at
the southwest corner of Atlantic and 6
th
Avenues, on the Arena Block. B4 is the only building that wouldbe affected by the requested modifications. FCRC has not requested any modification to the overallfloor area, height or use of B4. D&C staff have undertaken this review to determine whether theproposed modifications would be consistent with the general goals and objectives of the DesignGuidelines and whether they would result in any specific adverse impact to the design of the Project as awhole or B4 in particular.The modifications to the B4 envelope are proposed in large part because the Arena was developed onthe western portion of the approved B4 envelope in a way that precludes the installation of foundationsfor B4 in that area, thereby leaving a much narrower potential development site for B4 within theremainder of the approved envelope. Because FCRC has found it to be structurally infeasible tocantilever the upper portions of B4 over the Arena, the existing B4 envelope constraints result in aresidential floorplate that has a depth of just 45 feet, which does not allow for an efficient double-loaded corridor. Absent the proposed modifications, B4 would be much smaller than what is permittedunder the General Project Plan and the Design Guidelines, and consequently, would contain many fewerunits which could have an effect on the number of affordable units that would be constructed on the
 
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Arena Block. As described more fully below, to remedy this technical issue, FCRC proposes to shift a
portion of B4’s footprint
and bulk to the east and south, which would require modifications to three of the design drawings attached to the Design Guidelines.Overview of the Design GuidelinesThe Design Guidelines are annexed as Exhibit B to the 2009 Modified General Project Plan for the
Project (the “MGPP”) and provide a design framework for the Atlantic Yards development. Theyestablish “general goals and objectives” for the Project and prov
ide specific design guidelines for theArena Block as a whole, and for each development parcel, including B4. The Design Guidelines alsoincorporate their own appendices that include drawings defining an envelope for each building, withdimensions establishing height limits and setback requirements.
The “general goals and objectives” of the Design Guidelines address building organization, building
articulation, open space and streetscape. Most relevant to the proposed modifications are the goals to
“*c+
reate [d]evelopment [e]nvelopes that establish both a street wall presence and a unique identity for
individual buildings”; to “*m+odulate building scale by requiring setback and horizontal and verticalarchitectural breaks”; and to “*e+nsure a high level
of building façade articulation by requiring variation
in materials and window detailing.”
See
the Design Guidelines at p. 4. The Design Guidelines generallycall for an overall building massing divided into three parts: a Base, a Shoulder and an Upper Portion.
See
Design Guidelines at p. 7 (defining these terms).Among the relevant design guidelines specific to the Arena Block are requirements regarding groundfloor transparency, ground floor uses, and signage. Among the relevant design guidelines specific to B4are requirements to provide street walls along portions of Atlantic Avenue and 6
th
Avenue, to definelower
and middle portions of the building with changes to the architectural treatment of the building’s
façade both horizontally and vertically, and to cap the overall building floor area at 824,629 gross squarefeet above grade.The Current B4 Design Envelope
 
The term “design envelope” as used herein refers to the maximum dimensions of a building, or portion
of a building. (In general, the Design Guidelines do not set forth specific minimum dimensions.)
 
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Base:
The current B4 design envelope includes a Base with a maximum height of 150 feet that is setback from Atlantic Avenue to provide a minimum sidewalk width of 20 feet along Atlantic Avenue.
Along B4’s 6
th
Avenue frontage, there is no building setback on the northern portion (
i.e.
, the portionwithin 100 feet of the Atlantic Avenue property line) of the Base, while the southern portion of the Baseis set back from the property line, providing a minimum 25-foot deep and 100-foot long at-grade openarea adjoining the sidewalk on 6
th
Avenue.
Shoulder:
The Shoulder of B4 rises above the Base to a maximum height of 275 feet and is set back 6feet from the Base envelope along the northern portion of the 6
th
Avenue frontage and 15 feet along thesouthern portion of the 6
th
Avenue frontage.
Upper Portion:
The Upper Portion envelope extends above the Shoulder to a height of 511 feet and isset back from the Shoulder envelope by 10 feet along Atlantic Avenue, 10 feet from the northernportion of the 6
th
Avenue frontage, 15 feet from the southern portion of the 6
th
Avenue frontage, and 35feet from the southern frontage of the B4 footprint.Proposed Changes to the B4 Envelope
 
The proposed revisions to Drawings SK-1935, SK-1943 and SK-1944 would modify the design envelopefor B4 as follows:
Base:
The Base along the southern portion of the 6
th
Avenue frontage would be set back 15 feet insteadof 25 feet from the property line.
Shoulder:
The Shoulder along the southern portion of the 6
th
Avenue frontage would be set back 5 feetinstead of 15 feet from the Base.
Upper Portion:
The Upper Portion along the southern portion of the 6
th
Avenue frontage would be setback 5 feet instead of 15 feet from the Shoulder and would be set back 20 feet instead of 35 feet fromthe southern frontage of the building footprint.

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