Long Island City explodes architecturally ahead of Amazon’s arrival
With Amazon’s announcement that it is building half of its new corporate headquarters – AKA HQ2 – in Long Island City, Queens, the world’s spotlight has focused squarely on this once low-key, low-scale industrial section of New York. But Amazon or not, for the last few years the neighbourhood has been exploding, with an abundance of new apartments, not to mention fresh offices, parks, civic spaces, and retail.
The infusion has triggered intense concerns about gentrification and over-development, and the area will become a testing ground for how to balance the impacts of growth and create a feeling of community and authenticity in a very short time. How that will shake out remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Long Island City is becoming an exciting place for architecture and design.
Yes, much of the area still feels barren, and many generic structures are rising, but so too are innovative experiments and breathtaking designs, not to mention city-enhancing landscapes and streetscapes. Here are some of the highlights. §