'Mutual agreement' sees Ellerbe Becket take the reins
Forest City Ratner Companies announced last night that Frank Gehry's design for Atlantic Yards' Barclays Center has been dropped with a new design now being developed by Ellerbe Becket. The 850,000 sq ft sports and entertainment venue will be home to the Brooklyn Nets basketball team(Formerly the New Jersey Nets) and is hoped to be complete for the 2010-2011 season. With rigs already on site for the construction, new designs will be released as early as the end of June but are said to 'incorporate all of the approved design standards'.
As the master planner for the Atlantic Yards development, Frank Gehry created a blueprint for what is set to be a vibrant new urban community blending an arena, housing, retail and commercial space, as well as six acres of landscaped public open space.
"I have an immense gratitude toward Frank Gehry for his amazing vision, unparalleled talent and steadfast partnership," said FCRC Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner. “Both at Atlantic Yards and with the Beekman tower in lower Manhattan, he has continually produced beyond our expectations. Throughout this process - as litigation produced delay; as rising construction costs impacted the budgets of all developers; and a slowing economy altered expectations - Frank and his team have shown remarkable flexibility and professionalism, making cost-effective revisions as needed. The current economic climate is not right for this design, and with Frank’s understanding, the arena is undergoing a redesign that will make it more limited in scope.”
In March WAN reported that Gehry had been forced to make cut backs due to delays with the scheme losing two dozen staff.
Gehry said, "We remain extremely proud of our work on the Atlantic Yards master plan and on the original arena, which we designed in close collaboration with Forest City Ratner. While there are always regrets at designs not realized, we greatly appreciate our ongoing relationship with Bruce and his team."
FCRC intends to break ground later this year.