Saturday, July 04, 2015

Lowbrow/Brilliant? New York Mag's Approval Matrix misses mark on Barclays Center green roof (which aims to block leaking bass)

Well, New York Magazine calls its Approval Matrix "Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies." It's usually quite savvy. But not always.

Consider the Lowbrow/Brilliant designation for the Barclays Center's green roof. The print version is brief.

The online version links to a 5/27/15 WABC report, BARCLAYS CENTER INSTALLING SOUND-MUFFLING GREEN ROOF, which states:
The lush greenery will absorb rainwater, and therefore put less stress on the sewer system. Then, there's the acoustic component, as the roof will absorb sound that is outside the building and muffle sounds inside the center.
...And another thing that will be fascinating to watch is how all of this will actually change to reflect the seasons.
Somehow missing is the fact Barclays Center has regularly leaked bass into the surrounding neighborhoods like a giant neighborhood sub-woofer, leading to a fine. Or that the green roof promised in the early days was to be accessible to the public.

In other words, the green roof, however a cosmetic and operational improvement, is also a p.r. effort, and a way to recover from some unusually bad acoustic design in the arena. Not brilliant.

Also, the installation--notably the lingering crane blocking traffic on Atlantic Avenue--has taken far longer than projected. Not brilliant.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:23 AM

    Norman, as a neighbor to the Atlantic Yards, Pacific Park project, I really appreciate your consistent coverage of the development, but your inability to ever say anything positive about the project undermines your work. I honestly thing you, and your work would be better served by a more evenhanded approach.

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    1. One of my roles is to provide perspective and clarity on media cheerleading. You're allowed to like the green roof. But to call it lowbrow/brilliant is ahistorical.

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