Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Not quite as promised: Barclays Center scoreboard can barely be seen from plaza, drowned out by flashing band of advertising

Also see how roof signage is actually visible from the street and the delayed buildout was supposed to bring amenities to sites B3 and B4.

A 2/1/12 New York Observer article, Waiting for Bruce: The Commercial Observer Tours Atlantic Yards Arena, reported:
Band of advertising in foreground, scoreboard lower left
“It’s going to be the only court in the league where you can literally watch the game from the street outside,” [developer] Mr. [Bruce] Ratner said, pointing out the arena’s embrace of the surrounding community.
So, is there a transparent view into the arena bowl and scoreboard?

Not at all. Actually, there's a fractional view impeded by a layer of advertising inside the arena lobby. Consider it a metaphor of sorts.

Promises, promises

Arena architect Gregg Pasquarelli, in a public meeting 9/29/10, cited "From the public space, one can see into the bowl, and can see the scoreboard... something we don't know that's at any other arena, but something that's really fantastic."

"When you get to the top of the stairs. you have this remarkable transparent view into the bowl," Forest City Ratner executive MaryAnne Gilmartin told NY1 on 9/14/12. "You can see the scoreboard and the building invites you in. When you pop out of the subway, you're standing right in front of the arena at its doorstep."

Outside arena doors, band of advertising comes first
"A new subway entrance, tucked under a canted lawn, would open onto the plaza," Architectural Record reported 9/18/12, "from which the scoreboards inside the arena would be visible, creating the link between sidewalk and interior that Gehry had envisioned."

When, on 9/27/10, Forest City Ratner unveiled designs for the arena plaza, the Times reported, "Fans and passers-by will be able to view the scoreboard over the sunken basketball court in the arena."

On 7/19/11, the Times offered an update, suggesting that "people walking past the arena will be able to look in and view the scoreboard suspended over the court." 

 What was promised
 
From the 2006 Design Guidelines: "The Arena façade shall include transparent elements in the Atlantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue street walls allowing for views into the arena concourse from the adjoining sidewalks."

Indeed, the second-level concourse is visible from the Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue sidewalks. The bigger question involves the scoreboard.

From the ESDC's June 2009 Modified GPP:
The Arena is designed to allow passersby to see into the "bowl" of the Arena and view the  scoreboard from the Urban Room and Flatbush Avenue.
From the ESDC's June 2009 Technical Memorandum,
The design of the arena would change notably from the Frank Gehry design ... However, the arena would still conform to the GPP’s Design Guidelines noted in the FEIS, and it would still be possible to view the interior of the arena and the scoreboard from certain vantage points in the surrounding area, including along Flatbush Avenue.
A video from the plaza

The scoreboard is obscured by the advertising, but it is possible to see it.



From this angle, the scoreboard is obscured even more.



Only from one very limited area of Flatbush Avenue can the scoreboard be seen.



Another view from the plaza, including views of the oculus, the band of advertising inside the entrance, and the scoreboard.



This view focuses on the scoreboard at first; It's visible, but the flashing advertising in the foreground takes precedence.


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