Barclays Center set to open in Brooklyn

Brooklyn's Barclays Center opens

News: Barclays Center, a 19,000-seat indoor sports arena designed by SHoP Architects and AECOM, opens to the public in Brooklyn this weekend.

Barclays Center

The arena will provide the first Brooklyn home for basketball team The Brooklyn Nets and a venue for music concerts at the major intersection between Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.

The completed building was delivered by design-and-build contractors The Hunt Construction Group, with a ribbon-like steel facade designed by New York studio SHoP Architects and a 19,000 seat arena planned by AECOM.

Frank Gehry was the first architect to work on the project, but developer Bruce Ratner dropped the original design in 2009 in favour of a cheaper alternative. Gehry's masterplan also included sixteen residential towers, which are still proposed but not yet constructed.

Barclays Center

Following the Barclays Center's inauguration on Friday, journalists have had mixed reactions to the scheme. In the New Yorker, critic Alexandra Lange describes the building as an "alien presence" that is "big, dark, and without scale," while New York Times reporter Liz Robbins writes that "the arena stands as an island, a reminder of what is missing."

Meanwhile, New York Magazine's Justin Davidson speaks favourably about the building, calling it "a great, tough-hided beast of a building" that is "juiced, genial, and aggressive all at once."

The Barclays Center will officially open on Friday with the first of eight sold-out concerts by rapper Jay-Z.

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Photography is by Bruce Damonte.