Battle Over Renderings of Greenpoint Landing


Anyone who spends any time looking at architectural renderings knows that the built reality may fail to meet expectations. All renderings are political, tools to advance an agenda and a vision, said a story in the New York Times yesterday, taking as its starting point two vastly different renderings that have surfaced of the controversial Greenpoint Landing — one from the developers and one from an opposition group. The developer’s version shows glassy blue towers and lots of river; the other brick buildings in what one commenter described as a “putrid” pink color obscuring the river and dwarfing Manhattan. While we don’t deny the power of a rendering to mislead, not mentioned in the story is that the design for the buildings has changed and the renderings reflect that. Or, in the words of a Greenpoint Landing executive quoted in the story, the new design is meant to “blend in” with existing buildings in Greenpoint, and therefore uses brick and casement windows. Click through to the jump to compare the opposition group’s depiction with a developer’s rendering of the new design. Perhaps the new brick design isn’t working and should be jettisoned? What do you think?

Idealized or Caricature, Architectural Renderings Are Weapons in Real Estate [NY Times]
Renderings Via Curbed


3 Comment

  • Gotta love the NIMBY version where the Empire State Building can barely be seen(if at all). Will they have us believe that Gpt Landing towers are taller than the ESB? LULZ

  • The opposition to the Towers is completely justified and the NIMBY comment inappropriate in this instance. There are some misconceptions in both this article and the NIMBY comment. I am an architect, so I have been on both sides of the community board meetings. I am also educated in land use and urban design and have seen the some of the studies regarding the land adjacent to Greenpoint Landing. From an urban design point of view the buildings are way out of scale with the neighborhood. In addition, the area lacks the public transit, parking and vehicular circulation infrastructure to support the increase in population that the towers would bring. The towers will have a negative impact on anyone who lives in the neighborhood and can’t afford these new gated communities in the sky. Regarding the renderings: While I am sure that the opposition renderings were meant to paint the towers in a negative light, a lot of the distortion of scale is due more to the lack of sophistication of the renderings. Even medium level renderings are time consuming and expense to produce. The opposition renderings are probably the best that could be done with volunteer labor. The developer’s renderings are also shown at angles that avoid illustrating the negative impacts.

  • One more comment: I am against the towers but support the materials change. The building materials should be sensitive the context of the neighborhood. The brick is better.