|Photos by AYInfoNYC|
Love it or hate it, the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn is open and here to stay. As supporters and detractors alike keep their eyes peeled for shifts in traffic patterns and the fabric of surrounding neighborhoods, one messy prospect has already come to pass.My observation:
The deliberately rusted facade has dripped patches of bright orange onto some of the surrounding sidewalks, and left them looking as though a very tall and mischievous teenager had gone at them with a can of pumpkin-colored spray paint.
The facade of the arena is made of 12,000 panels of a material called weathering steel, which is made to rust quickly and then, once a protective layer of rust has formed, to slow the rusting process almost to a stop. But while it may look rugged, the steel bleeds bits of fiery color onto the surrounding area, especially in its early life.
The steel on the Barclays Center was weathered in advance of being mounted on the arena, spending about four months at a plant in Indianapolis being put through more than a dozen wet and dry cycles a day. In part, this was done to get some of the dripping out of the way elsewhere.
Joe DePlasco, a spokesman for the Barclays Center, said in an e-mail that the arena staff had expected the discoloration and planned to clean the sidewalk with, essentially, a “sidewalk power wash,” sometime in the next few weeks and then again as needed.
Well, pre-rusting was not expected to accomplish everything. So some dripping may be expected. Then again, the potential for such dripping on the sidewalk was not, to my knowledge, publicly disclosed or analyzed.
To fend off some of the headaches, the steel on the Barclays Center was weathered before it ever made it to Brooklyn. Gregg Pasquarelli, a principal at SHoP Architects, which designed the arena, said the steel components spent about four months at an Indianapolis plant where they were put through more than a dozen wet-and-dry cycles a day. (Mr. Pasquarelli said the arena looked to him like what would happen if “Richard Serra and Chanel created a U.F.O. together.")
The process put about six years of weathering onto the steel, according to Robert Sanna, an executive vice president and director at Forest City Ratner, the developer of the Barclays Center. So while there probably will be some rusty dripping, Ms. Sanna said, “this should keep it to a minimum, and you won’t have to worry that it will stain your sweater as you walk by.”