The Real Deal New York

Related’s Jay Cross discusses his approach to public space

Cross is overseeing Hudson Yard’s 14-acres of public space
March 22, 2014 01:00PM

 There hasn’t been a great public space built in New York City in a very long time, according to Related’s Jay Cross, who is overseeing Hudson Yards — the biggest U.S. real estate development on record.

“So we’re trying to learn from those classically inspired spaces. People want to congregate. They want to feel comfortable,” Cross told Businessweek. “There needs to be a certain degree of intimacy. Yet there needs to be an ability for thousands of people to gather. I think of Trafalgar Square or Piazza San Marco or Place des Vosges.”

When planning Hudson Yards, Cross said that he tries to think in terms of precincts, each with its own public space. The open space to the north will be a heavily landscaped garden, While A Plaza and a monumental piece of art will sit at the center.

And Cross adds that when he gets stumped planning Hudson Yard’s 14-acres of public space, “we turn to that one designer who, no matter what the scale is, always get the details right. That’s good old Mother Nature.” [Businessweek]Christopher Cameron