New Atlantic Yards design unveiled, legal challenges remain
The Atlatntic Yards arena features "weathered steel skin" (Courtesy Barclays Center)
The Atlantic Yards design has gone through another metamorphosis.
The controversial Nets stadium now features a bulbous shape covered by three metal bands forming a “weathered steel skin,” according to designs released yesterday. Glass surrounding the 675,000 square-foot arena will darken and brighten depending on the light.
“The design is elegant and intimate,” Bruce Ratner, the project’s developer, said in a statement.
Frank Gehry drew up the state-approved plans for the Barclays Center being built in downtown Brooklyn, but Ratner dumped the famed architect when the $1 billion project grew too pricey. A scaled-down design released in June was widely panned and compared to an aircraft hanger. In the current revision, Ratner tapped a young Manhattan firm, SHoP Architects, which is currently designing an expansion to the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Project critics were quick to spoof the design, calling it a “lipstick on a corrupt pig.”
“The arena design is irrelevant,” said Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn. “The project is still a sham.”
Ratner promised to finish the 18,000-seat arena and concert hall for the 2011 NBA season. A state development agency is expected to sign off on the revised project next week, but the state’s highest court will consider an eminent domain lawsuit next month that could put the 22-acre project on ice.
The new renderings do not show the 16 towers of promised residential and office space, which critics fear will never be built. Ratner estimates that the entire $4.9 billion development will wrap up in a decade, but his revised project plan allows him to take years longer or scrap the towers entirely for a penalty.
This morning, the Independent Budget Office is expected to release a report analyzing how much the city will make off the development versus lost tax revenue and capital spending on the project.