Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Gehry arena or an Ellerbe Becket arena?

(This is one in an irregular series of articles about issues that a State Senate committee might address when it holds a hearing on Atlantic Yards.)

So, the Kansas-City based firm Ellerbe Becket may become the lead designer for Barclays Center, which raises all kinds of questions about the role of Frank Gehry.

Sports Business Journal reported:
Renowned civic architect Frank Gehry originally designed the building. Kansas City-based Ellerbe, designer for the two newest NBA arenas, in Charlotte and Memphis, has been consulting for the Nets for the past three years and is making adjustments to arena blueprints to see how it can be built at a lower cost.

Team officials declined to confirm Ellerbe’s involvement or whether Gehry is still part of the project.
...

Ellerbe Becket principal Bill Crockett said, “Our work has been ongoing, and we have not been advised of what they will accept and when it will be released.”

(Emphases added)

When was the switch?

Well, there's serving as a consultant and serving as a lead designer. Ellerbe Becket may have been working on the AY arena for three years, but it's unlikely that the firm's role entered the foreground until Gehry laid off his staff just before last Thanksgiving (as the Daily News reported).

If Barclays bought naming rights in 2007 with knowledge that Ellerbe Becket was helping, the firm surely expected to see Gehry's name on the arena.

So, even if the news won't "wreck the arena's financing model," as DDDB alleged, state officials surely should be able to tell the public who's designing the arena. Right?

And what about the cost and timing of the arena?

Stay tuned for the hearing Friday.

Update 5:45 pm

In a comment, the snide and not-so-trustworthy Bobbo (aka Net Income on the NetsDaily message board) asserts that AY arena interior designer Michael Hallmark works for Ellerbe Becket. That’s not true. Hallmark worked for Ellerbe Becket from 1988 to 1995.

Since May 2005--more than three months before I started blogging about AY--Hallmark has worked for Forest City Ratner on this project, but he still maintains his Future Cities firm.

The unanswered question is whether Ellerbe Becket is in the lead.

2 comments:

  1. Go back in your remarkable archives or google "Michael Hallmark", well known arena designer who Ratner hired early on to do the Barclays Center INTERIOR.

    Where does he work?

    Ellerbe Becket.

    Next?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bobbo should sign his name as Bob Windrem.

    ReplyDelete