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Fortune: Is Barclays Center "the most important new building in the U.S. this year"?


In its latest edition (subscribers only), Fortune Magazine discusses how the globalization culture may be reversing and as part of its thesis, the business magazine suggests Barclays Center is a symbol of what's happening around the world, a "revolutionary inside-out gambit." Okay. We don't know whether we buy into it being THAT big, but author Joshua Cooper Ramo sure likes the arena.

In our age we can actually see the inside pushing to the fore. Consider the design of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn; critics call it the most important new building in the U.S. this year. It was conceived around a revolutionary inside-to-out gambit, with huge windows and screens that let passersby see who is singing, dunking, or practicing inside. The building marks a generational lurch as much as a structural one: Developer Bruce Ratner craftily swapped a too expensive concept by Frank Gehry, whose elegant and impenetrable façades were perhaps the best examples of the "outside is the new outside" revolution of 20 years ago, for one by the post-boomer collective firm SHoP. In the process, almost by accident, he built what may be the first great building of the Inside Age.

In the same (Net-centric?) issue, Jay-Z is named the 50th on a list of top business people.

The man known as Jay-z owns less than 1% of the Brooklyn Nets (Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov owns 80% of the basketball team), but Carter is the face of the team, and by extension, of his home borough. The rapper put in a mere $1 million into the initial partnership, but by all accounts was deeply involved in every aspect of the Nets' Brooklyn launch, including elements of its home stadium, the Barclays Center. The Nets are the latest addition to a business empire that includes New York's storied 40/40 Club and Roc-A-Fella Records. (He sold his clothing line, Rocawear, to Iconix in 2007 for $204 million.) Jay-Z the rapper may be winding down his career, but Shawn Carter the businessman is truly heating up after a fiery 2012.

H/T to subscriber Norman Oder.