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David Childs, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect who has designed 1 World Trade Center, which was formerly known as the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero, and the Time-Warner Center at Columbus Circle, has been meeting with the developer of the large Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn and may design one of its high-rise residential towers, according to an article today by Gersh Kuntzman in The Brooklyn Paper.

The article said Mr. Childs met with Brude Ratner of Forest City Ratner, the developer of the controversial Atlantic Yards project, earlier this year, that is planned to contain thousands of residential units and a new arena for Mr. Ratner's basketball team, the New Jersey Nets.

Initially, Mr. Ratner had commissioned Frank O. Gehry to design the entire project. Mr. Gehry is widely considered to be the greatest living architect and his participation in the project and early renderings of his planned designs generated considerable excitement.

Mr. Ratner also commissioned Mr. Gehry to design a very tall, stainless steel-clad rental apartment skyscraper near City Hall in Manhattan that is currently under construction and Mr. Gehry recently completed a sail-like office building in West Chelsea for Barry Diller. Mr. Gehry is the architect of the sinous forms of the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, that has been widely heralded as one of the greatest buildings of the 20th Century.

Last year, however, Mr. Ratner dismissed Mr. Gehry from the Atlantic Yards project, presumably to cut costs and subsequently hired Ellerbe Becket of Kansas City to design the basketball arena. That design, however, was not widely acclaimed and Mr. Ratner then hired SHoP Architects, a well-respected young local firm, to work on the design with Ellerbe Beckett.


Developer Bruce Ratner appears to be bringing in an all-star team to Atlantic Yards -- and we're not talking about his pathetic Brooklyn-bound New Jersey Nets.

Mr. Childs was quoted in the article as believed that the arena design is "very good now," adding "And then we talked about working together on the residential buildings."

"Bruce wants to bring in different architects, good architects, to do each of the residential buildings," Childs said in the article, adding that "That's something I'd be very excited about. Talking to Bruce, it's clear that he wants to do this right. He really does."
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.