From Modernist to New Urbanist

A developer in Holmdel, New Jersey sees promise in a building designed by Eero Saarinen to become a pedestrian-friendly town center. 'This place can be a great public realm."
December 19, 2008, 10am PST | Tim Halbur
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"When comparing the future for the former Bell Labs building to a nationally known mixed-use project, Zucker likened it to the AOL-Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan.

'It is a similar concept,' Zucker said. 'This is not going to be a mall. This is not going to be a strip mall. This will have connectivity and walkability.'

Zucker said Somerset is strictly in a brainstorming phase, conjuring up concepts for uses and how to adapt a building that was built in phases over a span of almost four decades.

The mostly glass, steel and concrete structure is currently empty and is heated and cooled only slightly to prevent damage such as mold.

'When I first walked into this building, all I saw and envisioned were pedestrian walkways,' Zucker said as he stood in the atrium area and looked down the expanse of the long corridors to his left and to his right. 'Everything is here for us. Imagine this opened up with light coming all the way through to the center here. Whatever goes in above will have spectacular views of both the outside surroundings and the inside.'"

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Published on Thursday, December 11, 2008 in The Independent
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