“A colossal, spiritless box, it would fit more comfortably in a cornfield than at one of the busiest intersections of a vibrant metropolis.” That’s how architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff described Ellerbe Beckett’s spartan reduction of Frank Gehry’s original design for the proposed new Brookyn Nets arena, a review that clearly stuck in the craw of Atlantic Yards landgrabber Bruce Ratner.
Assisted by NYC firm SHoP, a new collaborative design with Beckett was presented by Ratner yesterday, with the Nets owner promising NBA action in Brooklyn perhaps as soon as the 2011-2012 season. That’s if a 4th or 5th design isn’t commissioned first, however. From the New York Post’s Rich Calder :
The building consists of three separate but woven bands. A main concourse is placed right at street level, allowing a direct view to and from Flatbush and Atlantic avenues. Large areas of glass at street level make it not only pedestrian-friendly, but also encourage a strong visual connection to the surrounding urban neighborhood, the developer says.
œThe Barclays Center will quickly become an iconic part of the Brooklyn landscape, said Mr. Ratner. œThe design is elegant and intimate and also a bold architectural statement that will nicely complement the surrounding buildings and neighborhoods.
œThe arena design is irrelevant, said Daniel Goldstein of the opposition group Develop Don™t Destroy Brooklyn. œDesigns continue to come and go, but they change nothing. It™s all lipstick on a corrupt pig, window-dressing on a boondoggle.”
The state™s highest court, the Court of Appeals, in October plans to hear a legal challenge by Goldstein™s group over the use of eminent domain to seize private land for the Atlantic Yards project. While the developer has won lower court rulings in the case, a victory by opponents here could doom the project.