Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Barclays Center racks up awards; judge says "no one wanted to touch" scale issue of housing "because it's not built yet"

The Daily News (which sponsors the arena plaza) reports Barclays Center among Brooklyn's newest architectural standouts honored by Chamber of Commerce: The arena, home to the NBA's Nets, wins "Building Brooklyn" award for economic development. Other winners include Williamsburg's Wythe Hotel and the Botanic Garden's Vistor Center:
The Barclays Center — reviled by many during development, championed by many more, and filled by hundreds of thousands of screaming fans during its debut season — has won top honors for economic development in the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Building Brooklyn” awards to be announced Tuesday, the Daily News has learned.
“There isn’t a city in the world that wouldn’t beg for Barclays Center,” Chamber President Carlo Scisurra said. “It’s in the hundreds of millions of dollars what that means to the borough annually.”
I think it's hundreds of millions of dollars for the operators, not the borough.

What about the scale?

The newspaper reports:
“The impact of architecture on society and its impact is either ignored, not known, or a very subconscious thing,” said Brooklyn architect Walter Maffei, a jury member. “The discussions became heated when we got into how exactly these buildings affect their surroundings. Everyone has an opinion on that.”
And the Barclays decision?
“All the judges agreed overwhelmingly that Barclays Center is a world-class building and economic engine,” Maffei said. “The idea that the housing aspect was out of scale was ignored. No one wanted to touch it at this time because it’s not built yet.”
But aren't there models? And don't the jurors know that the plaza view of the arena was never planned, because a tower over 510 feet is supposed to be built, and the jobs inside were crucial to the cost-benefit analysis?

An award from Architizer

Architizer, an online architecture database, reported 5/17/13, Go Brooklyn: SHoP Architects’ Barclays Center Wins Architizer A+ Building Of the Year Award:
Having garnered the most Popular Choice votes among all of the Architizer A+ awards entries, SHoP Architects was presented the Building of the Year award by Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Bret Yormak at Thursday evening’s Architizer A+ Awards Gala.
“It’s impossible to describe the thrill of seeing a building you drew sitting in the heart of Brooklyn and filled with 18,000 screaming fans,” said SHoP Architects’ Chris Sharples & Jonathan L. Mallie. “Brett and Forest City Ratner are special. Clients with vision and a belief in the power of architecture. No good building gets built without that kind of support.”
“That’s why this award that celebrates breaking architecture out of the echo chamber is such an honor to win. This building is designed for every sports fan, every concert goer, every commuter that passes by the Center every day,” said the designers. Indeed, SHoP Architects are living their Multifesto: “Redefine Design Practice.”

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