1) Since opening, the mall has added a ton of indoor seating. The place is so popular that sometimes people still sit on the floor. This is success not sour grapes.
2) The escalators seem purposefully designed to make you wander around the mall. If you want vertical speed, there are many elevators, which the author neglected to mention.
The place is very popular. I’m certainly happy to have world class dining, shops and arts instead of a rail yard.
The article is basically a hatchet job.
As for the design criticisms, it's clear this person doesn't know much about actual design principles, despite criticizing the designers for it.
1) The escalators are almost certainly purposefully designed like this. This is common in many places, and I especially have seen this design used in many malls. Along with the fact that it guides people to product display areas, it also prevents dangerous traffic jams on the landings between escalators (it takes longer to get on an escalator than it does to get off, so in high traffic situations, you can end up with a lot of bunching at the top of an escalator, which can mean dangerous situations like this ).
2) Stairs are a common bottleneck since it takes longer to go up/down stairs than it does to walk on a level walkway. To prevent bottlenecking, the stairs should be wider than the walkways they connect to. This is the same principle you see when tollbooth plazas have more lanes than the highways they connect to.
3) The complaint about the gap in the railings again seems like an incredible nitpick. The author claims it is a 6 inch gap, but based on the photo, unless this person has massive hands, it looks more like a 3-4 inch gap, and I think it's a real stretch to call that "dangerous".
So you get the place to the point where it opens, and then you do a trickle of night work over the coming months as replacement parts come in and you can finally get everything perfect.
Hell, this happened to my parents' house remodel recently. They scratched a custom-order door in a way that wasn't repairable. Rather than leaving my parents without a door for a month, they left it as-is and then came back a month later with a new door (once it was ready) and installed it.
The software analogy doesn't hold, because security issues are often a consequence of buggy software, whereas shoddy finishes don't have much casual connection to the interior structure.
Also, software that "runs smoothly and presents a good used experience" can be just as prone to security problems, again because there's no necessary casual connection between the two.
You could argue that if the same team is responsible for everything, that the user experience, or finish, may be indicative of the internals - but it's common in both software and construction for different teams and even different companies to be responsible, and there can also be reasons to prioritize the areas differently and devote more attention and resources to one than the other.
I don't know how you came that conclusion, it seems irrationally combative. He is in good company.
> Klaus Jacob, a professor at Columbia University, has stated approval of the project stems from the "shortsightedness of decision-making" by its developers
If the author wants to talk about how the glass buildings and their shape don't fit into the neighborhood, or that they lack a certain aesthetic, then fine. But he's not doing that. He is arguing against functional design principles that are not only commonplace across many similar developments, they are also in place for a reason.
That walkway does look ridiculously narrow, though. Seems to be just one person wide.
How so? Everyone who gets off the escalator had to get on at the same pace earlier.
Additionally, the people getting on the upwards escalator, at, for example, Floor 1 aren't the only people that will be getting on the upwards escalator on Floor 2. There will be other people from Floor 2 that want to go upwards as well.
The design should also account for unusual situations as well. Just because someone got on the first escalator with no problem doesn't mean they won't accidentally trip or fall when trying to get on the second escalator. And if that happens, you don't want people getting hurt just because a sudden traffic jam caused a huge bunch of people on the landing between the escalators.
I was curious so I did some additional reading. Based on promo material from escalator manufacturers , there is mention of safety issues regarding the amount of space on escalator landings, but there is also a lot of talk about optimizing traffic flow through product display areas. My guess is that the mall's decision to place the escalators the way they did is primarily driven by that, but as someone who used to work in a building where the exit to one escalator was directly next to the entrance to the next escalator, and personally witnessed huge traffic jams (and had the awful experience of being uncontrollably pushed towards such a jam by an escalator), I do appreciate the design for safety reasons as well.
1 (PDF WARNING): https://www.schindler.com/content/in/internet/en/mobility-so...
The fact that a lot of people visit it is just a factor of Manhattan being an ever-expanding series of tourist traps. Along with the 9/11 Memorial Shopping Mall the island is looking more and more like Mall of America. Madame Tussaud's is popular, yet it is generally reviled among residents and frequent visitors along with the knock-off Broadway characters at Times Square that will kick your teeth in if you take a selfie with them without paying (yet they remain a popular attraction). New Yorkers will tolerate crappiness if it is at least convenient and will tolerate opulence if it is at least nice to look at. Hudson Yards is neither.
If you have a dire case of FOMO then it might seem like a nice addition but it's just a shinier version of the malls that you see at every highway exit in the country. The city's venerable institutions have not changed and still quietly offer arts and music and there was certainly no shortage of world-class dining before Hudson Yards went up. Unless you've been pining for Thomas Keller's latest take on a thousand-dollar bowl of bong water, who needs it?
I think those words should not be ever strung together, and as they are it kinds of says way too many things about a culture that would use them as such.
Not to condemn all of New York, but the implications of that sentence is way beyond kitsch.
Maybe this is the way NY has always been: it changes, it hustles, it moves. It's never been about a quaint kind of perfection. Maybe it's always been a kind of a rugged, slightly aggressive New World place that maybe should offend the senses of anyone expecting a more refined serenity?
So maybe that's just NYC.
I'm sure a guy like Trump and his tastes is not some random outlier ...
I was disgusted the last time I went there. I was there with someone who lost a family member in 9/11. They were clearly still emotionally burdened by their loss, even in 2017. Yet just a few feet away people were taking smiling selfies next to a literal memorial! I've been to many public memorials, and they are somber places. The 9/11 memorial feels like an almost fitting monument to crass 21st century capitalism.
So what's the problem with that? If you look to malls as a source of transcendence, you're bound to be disappointed.
> who needs it?
If nobody needed it, it would be a ghost town. Your objection is not that it's not needed, it's that you don't like it.
Previous discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19644880
The real good design is the rail yard person who left space for pilings to put something above in the 70s. (Some NYT article led with this fact.)
Though it certainly discusses some questionable gerrymandering of the targeted economic area.
> All EB-5 investors must invest in a new commercial enterprise, which is a commercial enterprise:
> Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or
> Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:
> 1. Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or
> 2. Expanded through the investment so that at least a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs
The closest thing is how it specifies amounts - $1m in general, or $500,000 in rural or high unemployment areas. Which is closer, but still doesn't require low-income housing...
This seems independent of whether or not it's a popular attraction.
I have a theory that writers in the media are disposed towards complaining, or rewarded for it with readers. It's also easier and frequently more fun to be negative than positive. So on almost any topic (Facebook, Hudson Yards, Tesla, whatever) there's a tendency to needlessly accentuate the negative.
Meanwhile, the writer has no idea what he (or she?) would've done with Hudson Yards, given the same opportunity and budget. Neither do I, for that matter.
Given that what they're saying is the plain, visible truth, what's the objection?
Also labor propaganda.
Unions can be dysfunctional, resisting new tech, but construction is a pretty simple business.
It's also possible that the web page design is intentionally ironic.
It seems to me that to get 100 on that scale you need flesh colored Greek statues in the front yard. ( (prophylactic) yes yes, I know that they used to paint statues. Thanks.)
per code, railings can be gapped by 4" - its pretty much one of the only things installers need to make sure of so i'd be pretty surprised if that rail gap is > 4"
last, one of the images has a piece of blue tape indicating a "fix this" marker. Looks like they (arch? owner? contractor?) said "nah".
It's easy to ignore imperfections with a modern sensibility, but those older buildings were crafted in a way that modern buildings don't seem to be.
The driving ethic was typically local pride, and the buildings were designed and built as public statements to showcase that.
Modern mall projects seem to be the opposite. There's no pride among either designers or builders. Everyone is there to do a job, including the building - which is primarily a cash extraction machine optimised for ROI, ineptly dabbed with superficial signifiers of status so it can appear appealing to people with money they can be parted from.
At a guess, that's what this article is really objecting to.
In the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, escalators are not positioned to allow a seamless flow up and down the levels of the mall, but rather, to make the complex photogenic; often requiring you to search at each level for the next escalator down in order to exit.
We seem to have generally begun to err in this direction. We are surrounded by visuals 24/7 via TV, magazines, internet, etc in a way that wasn't the case when I was a small child and didn't exist at all when, say, my dad was a child.
I think this is a consequence of that. Our focus is much more on looks than on other aspects of the design experience or life generally.
I don't know what the solution is. I keep toying with the idea that I want to, for example, blog about clothes or home related things without jumping on the bandwagon of filling it with appealing photos. It seems like a non-starter though.
But we have women undergoing cosmetic surgery because we are so focused on these photo shopped images of women who are already statistical outliers in some way and whose look was developed by a combination of a professional makeup artist, professional wardrobe person and professional hair stylist. Then they taped up her breasts and put 30 bobby pins in the jacket so it would fall a certain way. Then a professional photographer took 300 pictures, only one or two of which are going to be used in the publication.
Let me reiterate: After all that, they are photo shopped to boot to achieve some completely unrealistic notion of beauty or perfection or whatever.
We think that's what real people are supposed to look like. The magazines that do this literally try to sell us on the idea that they are in the business of telling us how we are supposed to look, never mind that no one can actually look like that in real life, not even the professional models who were used in the shoot.
We do the same thing with housing, home decor, etc ad nauseum.
And it is going bizarre places in a manner that is negatively impacting how we conceptualize and create real spaces, clothes to wear and so on. Then we wonder why so much stuff out there is dreck.
what is unsafe about a space between railings at a corner that not even a hand can fit through?
Some people are kinda meh about the financing behind this because it used gerrymandering to get funding diverted from say Harlem, but no real conversation daily.
We aren’t a hostile people but are upset about how this was funded:
“As I reported back in 2017, records obtained by CityLab under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the gerrymandered map that Empire State used to qualify Hudson Yards for EB-5 financing. This particular TEA snakes up from the West Side and includes Central Park. (Think about that: a map of Manhattan that claims Central Park as an economically troubled area.) Beyond the park, the qualifying zone for Hudson Yards captures several census tracts in Harlem, where public housing projects boost the overall unemployment figure.”
They New York is to Europe as San Francisco is to Asia.
Hudson Yards stands in stark and stunning contrast to that analogy.
There isn’t a section of NYC to which this does not apply.
All over Manhattan and in 7+ figure properties in every borough, the percentage of foreign buyers is higher than ever.
This doesn’t even take into consideration the phenomenon of foreign investors in the multi-family rental and flipping market.