While the ribbon cutting was pro forma, “Cousin Brucy”—Markowitz’s pet name for Ratner—did invite everyone back for a groundbreaking ceremony on December 18. While he gave no details, SHoP confirmed that this was the public announcement that FCRC had, in fact, decided to move forward with modular construction for the first residential building, B2, the 32-story residential building that will be the first of 14 planned residential buildings.Forest City hasn't said anything, so presumably they're waiting to make a big announcement about their modular plans.
(Update: According to Curbed, Forest City is still undecided.)
Another rave review
Also see the newspaper's review of the arena, SHOP REDEEMS RATNER: Innovative and intelligent architecture and public space mark a hopeful start for the controversial Atlantic Yards project:
Nestled in the roaring wedge of traffic between Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, the building’s curving forms and lateral banding reference the energy from the rushing traffic, turning a negative urban condition into an architectural expression. Even with all the traffic, the area is bordered by vibrant, high-density neighborhoods, which will help fill the spaces created by the arena’s new public realm. The generous plaza in front—a privately owned public space—helps define the larger area, and the sidewalks alongside the area, lined with street trees and steel bollards, feel far safer and more welcoming to pedestrians than they ever did before. Stadiums and arenas are often deadly to street life, but the architects of the Barclays Center have filled much of the ground floor with glass storefronts and windows into the interior....The reviewer calls the interior "comparatively conventional."
The richly tactile, weathered steel panels, according to SHoP partner Gregg Pasquarelli, are meant to evoke the “grit and glamour” of Brooklyn. That may be a stretch, but the intricate pattern and heavy materiality of the panels signal a level of seriousness and investment on the part of the developers toward the borough.
I still think a visit to the operating arena would have added important texture.