The Real Deal New York

Barclays Center’s rusty design is NYC rarity

August 27, 2012 03:30PM

The brand new Barclays Center is still weeks from opening but its facade gives the appearance of a building many years its senior. That’s because, the New York Times noted, the arena’s SHoP Architects-designed exterior was made with weathering steel.

The steel is made to rust quickly, and that layer of rust protects against moisture and slows the corrosion process. Other buildings in the city made with the weathering steel, including the East of East condominium building at 13-14 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City and a Greenwich Street townhouse, applied a fresh layer of it and therefore stained sidewalks and nearby glass orange from dripping rust. But the Barclays center facade endured four months of more than a dozen wet-and-dry cycles a day — or about six years-worth of weathering — in an Indianapolis factory before it ever made its way to Flatbush Avenue.

“This should keep [the rust] to a minimum,” Robert Sanna, an executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, told the Times. “And you won’t have to worry that it will stain your sweater as you walk by.”

But the potential for stains, and the mixed-reaction to the look of a rusty exterior, probably explains why weathering steel buildings are few and far between in an otherwise architecturally diverse city, the Times said. [NYT] — Adam Fusfeld