Professor Montgomery

Category: Short Writing Assignment (Page 3 of 14)

SWA# 12: Battery Park

Between Lincoln Center and Battery Park, the planning that went into Battery Park’s creation seems more befitting in its environment. Whereas, in the area that was turned into Lincoln Center, the previous environment was simply torn down. 

Walking along Battery Park, you notice there’s a sense of circularity and the circulation is guided by a path along the waterfront. The buildings adjacent to the park also beautifully respond to the waterfront, assimilating to the curving that occurs in the park’s design. In contrast, Lincoln Center is composed entirely of rectilinear buildings. Even the plazas share that characteristic. Another big difference between these areas is the spatial experience you have when walking in these places. Within Lincoln Center, especially when not many people are out and about in the Center, I feel like everything seems very spaced out. This quality is understandable because the center typically is for the masses that come to watch performances but when empty, a lot of grandness or spaciousness is felt. In Battery Park, there’s enough space for groups of people to stroll around together but the spacial experience isn’t of grandness like in Lincoln Center. Instead, as you’re strolling along in the park, you experience a sense of tranquility or almost awe because of the waterfront, especially when the sun is about to set. This beautiful scenery is maximized with the view to the cityscape seen at the other end of the Hudson River. 

All in all, the planning that took place in each area successfully created enjoyable and appropriate ambiances for both Lincoln Center and Battery Park.

SWA #11: Lincoln Center

Civic centers such as Lincoln Center relate to the city around them because they provide gathering spaces where they intend to, as an urban core, connect people from the surrounding suburbs.

In the case of Lincoln Center, a chunk of land previously known as San Juan Hill was demolished ousting thousands of families from their homes to create the famously renowned cultural center that is Lincoln Center. It unites several buildings such as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Ballet, which turns Lincoln Center into a concentration of prestigious cultural venues. Although there is a lot happening within the buildings in Lincoln Center, the great amount of open space left between those buildings offers plazas that come alive during different times of the day and are open for the public’s enjoyment. Walking into Lincoln Center via Columbus Avenue, right away you encounter Josie Robertson Plaza where a grand water fountain is situated directly in the middle providing an area to sit encircling the fountain. If you were to walk into Lincoln Center via W 65th street, you’d encounter the Hearst Plaza consisting of a reflection pool and a raised lawn area. 

Although the area that is Lincoln Center has been elaborately designed and laid out, the institutions that surround the center seem to almost discretely hide the prodigious plazas created for the pleasure of the public. I only say this because of how the buildings are positioned to face. With this arrangement it does reach its goal to connect people however, it almost creates a sort of island fenced up by these performing-arts institutions.  

Aleksandar Dekic: Final Reflection Paper

Final reflection Prompt

Aleksandar Dekic

Impact of studying New York City architecture out of the classroom. Should more students get this opportunity? Why and why not?


My major is Hospitality Management, and I choose this class because it is an ID class, and it is required. But I also choose it because I find myself interested in history and is there a better way to learn about the history of the city where I live then taking this class. And for my future profession, it is remarkably important to know and understand the place where I live and work.

The first class was phenomenal, and it buys me instantly. All those documents about the first settlers, and then quickly run through the time with the pictures and blueprints of the city. Amazing! But during the second class, I felt like this is one of those classes where professor is going to throw at us million of information, and we will end up stuck with it, without real knowledge and with one-dimensional pictures and data that will be hard to understand, especially for me because I am not architect student. Then, the professor takes us outside, where we could experience the real life of the city, firsthand. Everything that he was lecturing was right there, in front of us, amazingly unwrapping every place and building, and unfolding those stories about them. Professor Montgomery allows us to see the things that we see every day with different eyes. Thanks to him, now I know the importance of air and sun flow between the buildings, street grid and its deviation in certain parts of the city, reliefs, and seatbacks and how they are important, and the way how different styles and materials were introduced in architecture. All this in front of students, right on-site, where we cannot just see the examples, but touch it and feel it in a 3-dimensional way.

All this historical analysis of the city’s infrastructure, development and planning was much better explained, “out of the box”, with such architectural passion, than it will be in the classroom, and it holds my attention during the class time, no matter if it was raining, snowing or if it was nice day outside. I was exiting to participate in every class, not just because we get the lecture, but it is a free walking tour, which costs at least $20, and we did 12 if I am not mistaken. And, professor Montgomery is the best tour guide you can get, with so much knowledge that reaches to the very soul of the city and its architectural history from the village to the present role of the city as the commercial and cultural hub of the nation. I am definitely for this kind of lecture, especially because our college is in the city and it does not cost extra money to go and visit places, everything is minutes away, which students from other cities and regions can’t afford.



Compare the Lincoln Center urban renewal planning to Battery Park City’s planning. How does the spatial experience of the Tower in the Park differ from the urbanism of Battery Park City?

I will be comparing The Lincoln Center to Battery Park City renewal plan to the City planning. They are very similar because they are both open spaces and the architecture design is open to the public, Battery Park is mainly a green space and Lincoln Center is for the performing arts.

Battery Park City plan is very open with space and it is near the harbor. Battery Park City has 92-acres of land. It is located on the west side of the southern tip of New York City and one-third of development is for parks. For the open space, they are many benches, seating areas, and walkable spaces. Battery Park City has a beautiful waterfront that has an amazing view of many high-rise buildings in New York City as well as the waterfront in New Jersey.

As for Lincoln Center, I believe more people who go there are into artwork, musical plays, and Opera as well as the performing arts. It is also open to the public. When entering Lincoln Center, the first thing you see is a beautiful water fountain in the center of the plaza. Lincoln Center has a unique design and inside of the building is it very decorative. I believe this is for the upper-class people to come and visit, unlike Battery Park City which is more of a casual atmosphere for the public to enjoy on a beautiful day.

Lincoln Center relates to the city by having many local businesses and stores nearby. Battery Park City is made up of more high-rise buildings and is for people coming to the waterfront on a nice day.

Short Writing Assignment #12

Walking the, somewhat, entirety of Battery Park City was enjoyable and beautiful. There are many factors that played well with the green open space of the park such as streets and buildings and the generous integration of the waterfront.

Compared to Lincoln Center, Battery Park City is preeminent in its design. You have a more circular and generous flow of circulation that is dictated by the waterfront. The paths of circulation, vegetation, stone railings, as well as the buildings opposite of the water, follows the language given by the waterfront. Whereas in Lincoln Center, consisting of an open plaza and other open spaces with vegetation and fountains, it has a more rectilinear form in plan. You’re also surrounded by such massive buildings that it can get a bit overwhelming. On the other hand, one side of the park is shielded by condos and offices buildings, which are all curved buildings because of the overall curved plan and diverse in its materials and styles. On the other side of the park, you have the waterfront. A beautiful scenery to look at when strolling through the landscape. An exciting feature of the park is that no matter where you are, you will always have a view to the Statue of Liberty, which was intentional in the design of the park. Another great feature is the elevations and slopes the grass areas and circulations paths create, almost like a weaving action like Central Park, for instance. The park itself is below the ground plane where the sidewalk, this gives a better spatial experience to its users.

One similarity that Lincoln Center and Battery Park City shares is the open room. In other words, an open space defined by surrounding buildings acting as the walls, the stairs or path to the open space itself acting as the entrance to the room, and the open sky acting as the ceiling. This feature is found in the park where the Irish Hunger Memorial is.

Spatially, I feel like Battery Park City is more exciting and attractive place to visit because of the sloped circulations paths and views the park gives. It carries a much different story than Lincoln Center, where it has a more structured and ordered plan.

Aleksandar Dekic: MOMA

Aleksandar Dekic: MOMA as a New York City Cultural Institution


Museum of Modern Art is a unique institution which celebrates new and inventive art. Even though it is called the Museum of Modern Art, its collection is mostly more than 100 years old which puts it in a way of an older historical institution. The architecture of the building itself is interesting as much as it is its collection. The building is a grouping of series of periods of construction, with the most recent just completed. It also has two rooms with the architectural collection, one is called architecture systems, and the other one is called the architecture of modern art. This is not my first time to visit this place, but I was again surprised by what it can offer to one visitor.

When we enter the building, there was the main hall with its open space and high ceiling which extends in some parts to the 3rd or 4th floor. Annoying sound from the ceiling, which fills the room from time to time, shows us the great acoustics of the place which would be perfect for the concerts. The main steps are designed in a way that visitors can enjoy in the movement of another visitor, which made human movement in the space an inevitable part of the building. The building will be incomplete without human movement. The same thing we saw when we visited the Guggenheim museum. During my visit, one of our colleges takes a picture of me from the 4th floor while we were on the 2nd floor watching the live performance happening with people in black clothes moving temporary sculptures on the wheels around, as a part of a performance. We were hypnotized with the performance, eager to find out why there are doing that, and what will happen at the end, not knowing that we have been part of somebody’s bigger picture of that same performance, but just from the different angle.

The special place in this institution is the garden. It represents the museum for itself in 2 ways. First, the dynamic and symmetry of the garden are totally in coherence with the museum building that surrounds it. The pool in the garden, together with the sculptures in it, are symbiotic with the architecture of the building, with the seatback on in, and with the transparent glass façade on the ground floor which makes the garden looks bigger like it extends into the buildings hall. The colors that dominate in the garden are white (Granite white), green and black (sculptures) and are compatible with the building on all three sides. And, probably the most iconic thing that makes this garden unique and, some would say the best in the world, are the buildings that surround this area. It is sort of museum or collection in open, with all this building from different periods, and different architectural styles that have a relation with each other and reflects this garden. Here we can see archeology of buildings like postmodernism buildings (ATT building), or art deco buildings or something that looks like Lever Building or another building that has taken the inspiration from the Seagram Building.

It was an amazing experience today to visit this cultural institution and with the help of Professor Montgomery, to see it with the different sets of eyes. To see this “garden museum” which today modern architects are taking into calculation whenever they plan to build some building that is visible from this location. It produces some sort of awe into me, knowing that this garden stands as an architectural angel guardian for the future preservation of everything that is artistically and architecturally important for the “soul” of this city.

Week 13 – Hudson Yards

Architecture for the general public is known to be about the upbringing of buildings and residences and the way people circulate or move through a certain space. Yet as a person who goes more in depth with technicality and as you study the focus of architecture more in depth you realize that it’s also about the language an urban project or a specific building has with its surroundings. You come to realize the significance that you want the project to evoke on a person and you also want people to understand the statement that you’re trying to express as an architect or as a group of architects.


Hudson Yards is most definitely one of the newest tourist attractions in New York City. Therefore, it is a very picturesque place but with luxury as a forefront. It’s an urban project that interacts with the High Line creating a larger responsibility in circulation and the proper flow people. As most of us know the High Line is a museum of architecture, a pathway that cuts through neighborhoods and buildings allowing a person to have various experiences. Nonetheless, the High Line achieves all of this with historic significance and smoothness for various blocks; not highly altering the design that a neighborhood already had. Meanwhile Hudson Yards is a project that creates its own world such as the Lincoln Center and Rockefeller Center but I would say in a less successful manner. Every building in Hudson Yards just speaks its own design which is not bad as an individual figure but it’s unsuccessful as a unison besides the entities of glass. Circulation fails to lead you to a main attraction or the tallest buildings as it is done in Rockefeller Center.


Therefore, how does Hudson Yards compare to the urban planning of Battery Park city? I would say that Hudson yards is clearly driven by money and luxury. Meanwhile Battery Park city is driven by the true definition but what architecture stands for which is the interaction of society, the interaction within a neighborhood, the blend and coherence of a new neighborhood with the existing one and the concept of utilizing money for the progression of society rather than the waste and exalt of money.

Week 11

This short writing is about my visit to Lincoln Center. It focuses on how the lincoln center relate to the city around.


At first a civic center can be interpreted as an eminent land area in a community that represent an image of power, dominance, and civic unity. It usually carries space for conventions, sport events, and theatrical entertainment. The lincoln Center is a preforming art center located in Upper West side Manhattan. It’s a complex of buildings design by multiple architects. The lincoln center plan was highly attacked when they first announced it by Jane Jacobs and other Urban planners. They said that” it’s going to be a sterile island cut off from the real life of the city.” I can agree more, during my visit I saw that the center looks different from it’s surrounding, and it takes a large part of the area. With the main entrance facing broadway and the other sides sort of blocking life around it especially on both Avenues, also it’s kinda impractical to access on foot. Jane Jacob said “no neighborhood or district, no matter how well established, prestigious or well healed and no matter how intensely populated for one purpose, can flout the necessity for spreading people through time of day without frustrating its potential for generating diversity.” clearly the center is not an example of a perfect neighborhood. The design ignores the importance of knowing how things work in the city which is short blocks, and mixed uses buildings where people can gather easily enjoying life in the neighborhood.

Nevertheless, the Lincoln Center success comes from the program his offering the people in the neighborhood around with the opera House, Dance, music etc and also because of the mass of stores, restaurants and new housing they started building around it. The building never function as an Acropolis idea but now really represents the city’s most elegant area.

Week 12

This short writing is about my visit to Battery Park City It focuses on the comparison between Lincoln Center and Battery Park City urban renewal planning.


New urbanism it a movement started in the late 80’s and early 90’s were they focus on Jane Jacobs observation on how cities function, evolve and fail. she basically revolutionize the world of architects, planners and politicians with her writing. She saw cities as nonsegregated systems that had their own logic and energy which would change over time in relation to how they were used. She proposed that cities should be built as they been built throughout time with streets, open space, parks and short blocks. The blocks should define the street edges nicely, and people should be able to see the street from their buildings. The lincoln center didn’t adopt any of this new urbanism approach instead the idea ignores the importance of knowing how things work in the city. The center looks different from it’s surrounding, and it takes a large part of the area not allowing any connection between itself and the street or the block. Compare to Lincoln Center Battery Park City really embrace Jane Jacobs approach on how a city should be built. So they changed the previous plan created in the late 60’s with a better one showing a connection with the rest of lower Manhattan. The new plan also contains many principles that makes Battery Park City a great urban environment. Some of those principles was not be self contained ; show a connection with Manhattan grid; reproduce what’s great about New york City neighborhoods ect.

Short Writing Assignment #11

Urban spaces were rising in the 20th Century, and these challenges prompted city officials and planners to keep their city in their minds as they design new large-scale projects and spaces. Civic centers were also prompted, and they are spaces where multiple institutions are grouped in formal compositions around open space. The Lincoln Center is a great example for this approach because of the relationship it has with the city and its users.

Designed by multiple architects, the Lincoln Center was diverse in its architectural language and styles. From Roman architecture to modern architecture, walking in the space made it feel like you were in the middle of a historical timeline because of the different styles used. However, a lot of the buildings were similar in material: travertine. The three buildings that signified the Roman architecture were: David Geffen Hall, Metropolitan Opera House, and David H. Koch Theater. All of them expressed stripped down classicism, simple and abstract Roman architecture through its tall columns that were supporting cantilevers. This detail relates to the Roman temples. David H. Koch Theater expressed Roman architecture through its minimal arched columns whereas the Opera House had more curvature to its columns. The David Geffen Hall was quite different from the other two. Aside from the tall columns, the building was more expressive in a modern way. No arches are used but more rectilinear forms were implemented into the design.

The space itself is pleasurable. The main entrance is at Columbus Avenue, where grand stairs lead to the Josie Robertson Plaza and the Revson Fountain, designed by Diller Scofidio and Renfro. This beautiful plaza, made up of circular light and dark colored stones, were used to unify the overall trapezoidal ground. It was a beautiful gesture for the public to come from the city and enjoy the plaza. This layout was very similar to the Campadolio Plaza in Italy. Two parallel buildings framing one main monumental building at the center, in this case, being the Metropolitan Opera House. The space grew as we walked more into Lincoln Center, exploring a series of architectural styles. There were seats also provided and green spaces for people to inhabit especially in the summer for shading.

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