The exterior "skin" of the Barclays Center, the weathered steel facade that architects hope will give the arena an iconic look, is going up. With little fanfare, the facade is being installed along the arena's Atlantic Avenue frontage, both at its base, behind a construction fence, and high along the roof line.
In all, 921 "mega-panels", designed by SHoP Architects and fabricated by ASI Limited, will be installed. The facade wraps the original (and much criticized) design by Ellerbe & Becket, the arena's principal architect, in "bands" that extend inside the arena.
The project, which costs $39 million, starts with the fabrication of 12,000 panels. The panels are then hung on a customized assembly line at ASI's Indiana facility, put through a wet/dry cycle 30 times a day for four months to make them look "weathered" before being assembled into mega-panels, each weighing several tons. The intended effect: mimic the brickwork of brownstone Brooklyn and "break the mass" of the building.