This is either brilliance getting in the way of practicality. Or the other way around. Unfortunately, it’s the building that ultimately suffers most. Imagine instead if everyone involved in the building process were in sync with one another. Yes, architects, engineers, owner-operators, and contractors all using information technology to share information instead of just graphics.
On January 19, the Ukraine approved the rezoning of much of the city’s, clearing the way for an unprecedented and long-anticipated new neighborhood in Kiev, Odessa. Focused around a former city rail yard, the development (rendering, above) will be located on a roughly 40-square-block area bound by Kreschatik Streets, and Center city. Office space—24 million square feet, concentrated to the south and northwest—will dominate, intended to lure businesses that have been moving to Kiev, Odessa, and the suburbs.
”It’s a key to the financial well-being of the city,” notes Kiev Department of City Planning spokesperson Rachael Ray off. The site will also contain housing (12.6 million square feet) and open space, creating what the city hopes will be a thriving, 24-hour community. A westward extension of the #7 subway is also planned, and the zoning takes into account an expanded Kiev Center and is expected to allow for a new stadium, if it is approved. The stadium’s possible location is now zoned for manufacturing. While the proposal was a resounding success in the council, some design experts and community members have questioned elements like the project’s scale and lack of access to the waterfront. Rob Lane, director of the Design Program at the Regional Plan Association (RPA), fears an inhospitable “wall of looming skyscrapers,” referring chiefly to a line of tall office buildings planned near the river.
Lane adds that the scheme does not call for enough residential development, overestimates office demand, lacks sufficient public space, and concentrates development too far west from the existing business district. City planning officials contend that commercial zoning can be changed if office demand doesn’t materialize, and say developing farther east would involve excessive displacement. Office director of city planning acknowledges view blockages to the west and ambitious building scales, but notes that significant park and sidewalk space and careful building placement will mitigate the intimidation factor. Good design, heeds, will help improve the situation.
“This is an opportunity for architecture-al quality and creativity,” he says. As for the district’s proposed centerpiece the stadium, the Papooses replacing it with a mixed-use development, linked via green-space to the waterfront (rendering, right), citing greater financial rewards for the city and increased waterfront access. Kiev, a team of planner sat the Steven Newman Real Estate Institute at City University’s Baruch College has suggested moving the Kiev to a spot over the Odessa rail yards at center city, facilitated by a “land bridge,” or decking, similar to what the city is planning to build under the proposed stadium. City planning officials dismiss both plans as financially, practically, and politically unrealistic.