Last Friday, local officials and community leaders gathered to cut the ribbon marking the ceremonial opening of Barclays Center, the new world-class sports and entertainment venue that will serve as the anchor of the Atlantic Yards development, home to the Brooklyn Nets and the site of more than 200 planned cultural and sporting events annually. Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York will officially open on September 28 with the first of eight sold-out concerts by JAY Z.
The 675,000 sq ft arena, designed by the award-winning architectural firms SHoP Architects and AECOM, in collaboration with The Hunt Construction Group, the Design-Builder, consists of three separate but woven bands made up of 12,000 unique panels that were fabricated from 600 tonnes of steel sheets. The first band engages the ground where the weathered steel exterior rises and lowers to create a sense of visual transparency, transitioning into a grand civic gesture that cantilevers out into a spectacular canopy at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.
The canopy, which is 30ft above ground level, contains an open, oval oculus that frames the pedestrian’s view of the arena. The oculus also houses a 3,000 sq ft, 360 degree LED marquee. A second glass band allows for views from inside and outside of the arena. The third band floats around the roof of Barclays Center and varies in transparency, the weathered steel creating backlit patterns.
The woven band of the canopy flows out over the arena entrance, creating a seamless visual transition and helping to frame a large viewing portal into the seating area. The main concourse is placed at street level, allowing a direct view to and from the street. Large areas of glass at street level not only make it pedestrian-friendly, but also encourage a strong visual connection to the surrounding urban neighbourhood. Barclays Center is designed to achieve LEED certification with a goal of Silver.
In addition to the arena, the new portion of the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway entrance, located on the newly constructed Daily News Plaza in front of the main entrance, opened this week. Barclays Center is located atop of one of the largest transit hubs in New York. The subway entrance will provide direct access to nine subway lines, with two subway lines nearby. Access to the Long Island Rail Road is also available by crossing Atlantic Avenue. Public transit is the fastest and most convenient way to travel to the venue and visitors will be encouraged to use mass transit.
The 9,000 sq ft glass-enclosed GEICO Atrium will be the main entry space as visitors walk through the front door of Barclays Center. Fans will have easy access to the 12-booth American Express Box Office, views into the below-grade practice court, and quick access to the Nets Shop by adidas. Most impressively, the GEICO Atrium opens onto a dramatic view of the arena bowl and scoreboard.