(Please Note: We don't care what the arena looks like, though everyone should
remember that Ratner promised an iconic Frank Gehry arena; we care that Atlantic
Yards is a failure and a rip-off, yet NYC and NY State continue to back it.)
So, remember that Atlantic Yards arena "hangar" design that appeared
in the NY Times and elsewhere, which the Times' critic
Nicolai Ouroussoff ripped to shreds?
Yup, that one that Ratner said is "not
his intention," the one that City Planning Commissioner Amanda
Burden supposedly "leaked," but somehow appears
in the official state document governing the Atlantic Yards project (more
on that from Norman
Oder in relation to this article)?
Well now the
hangar's arena's lead architect Ellerbe Becket says that
the real rendering will knock your socks off with its evocative "working-class
industrial hub" feel replete with "bunker style" luxury suites.
Presumably the "working-class industrial hub" look would be a facade.
Do Ratner, ESDC and now Ellerbe Becket think we're all fools or just not paying
won’t look like leaked rendering, Ellerbe Becket says (Emphasis added.)
Sports Business Journal [Subscription only]
The New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff can rest easy.
The exterior of Barclays Center, the New Jersey Nets’ proposed Brooklyn arena,
will look nothing like the image the Times published last month, according
to James Poulson, Ellerbe Becket’s design director for the project.
The initial rendering, obtained by the newspaper without approval
from the NBA team and the architect, shows a red-brick building with
an arched roof, a plan that prompted Ouroussoff to rip the design in a critique.
“I’ve heard it called an airplane hangar, a trash Dumpster and a big barn,”
Poulson said, chuckling. He served in the same role for developing Conseco
Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the retro-themed arena that has influenced several
NBA facilities built in the last 10 years.
Brooklyn isn’t Indiana, of course, and Poulson echoed the comments made by
Nets executive Brett Yormark, who said the arena will evoke the borough’s
history as a working-class industrial hub. The exterior in its final form
will be “less barnlike,” Poulson said.
“It may be something totally unexpected,” he said. “We would
like it not to look like Conseco.”
Inside the arena, Ellerbe Becket principals are designing some midlevel, bunker-style
spaces where the early plan is for club seat holders to rent them on a per-event
basis for pregame and postgame activities, Poulson said.
It’s a slight twist on bunker suites, the event-level private hospitality
spaces with no view to game but tied to courtside seats. Moving those areas
up higher in the seating bowl is part of the Nets’ plan to meet market demand
for midpriced premium seats, he said.
We repeat, the ESDC—the state agency overseeing the project—released
these renderings on June 23 in the Modified General Project Plan weeks after
they were supposedly "leaked." Is the ESDC trying to pass off "leaked"
renderings as the real deal? We doubt it. We presume the real story is that ESDC
had to show some rendering of the arena when it adopted that new plan
or they'd look really silly, and the only rendering available was the one that
went over like a lead balloon.
And now the arena's design director says that the arena "may be something
totally unexpected." He's right on that one: it is so unexpected
that neither Ratner, ESDC or Ellerbe Becket even know what it is yet!
Wouldn't one presume that if developer Bruce Ratner wants to break ground this
fall (an impossibility) he'd like to know what his $800 million arena looks like,
or does he just want to be surprised? On a similiar note, doesn't Barclays Bank
want to see what its $400 million naming rights deal is buying?
By the way, does the "working-industrial hub" simulacrum include chafing
dishes or not?