Barclays Center’s Green Roof Is Almost There


    Standing on Barclays Center’s green roof. Photo by Chris Ryan for The Architect’s Newspaper

    It must have been a disappointment to many architecture enthusiasts when they discovered that the plan to build a green roof for Barclays Center had been nixed for budgetary reasons. The roof had been part of the original Frank Gehry design — along with a running track around its perimeter — but those features were scrapped during the recession.

    The resulting white top, with its big blue logo, gave the stadium a feeling of being somehow unfinished. Now, three years after the grand opening of Barclays Center, the green roof is back in play — and it looks as if all the greenery may be in place by the end of July. Fingers crossed.

    The 135,000-square-foot area is in the process of being covered with a layer of sedum, a genus of flowering plants that store water in their leaves. The idea is to capture rainwater, reduce noise output, and provide a more pleasing view for both passers-by and future residents of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park highrises being built around it.

    The Architect’s Newspaper recently got an exclusive tour of the roof in construction, and the photos give the otherworldly impression of a park floating above the streets of Brooklyn.

    The green roof plan was raised from the dead thanks to a joint venture between Forest City Ratner and Greenland Holdings Group, a real estate development company out of Shanghai. A new roof structure had to be built on the existing roof to support the sedum, which is shipped in from Connecticut and hoisted onto the roof by crane.


    Closeup of sedum on the roof of Barclays Center. Photo by Chris Ryan for The Architect’s Newspaper

    In our last update about the green roof, the deputy director of construction for Forest City Ratner estimated that the roof would be completed by the fall. The installation of the sedum, however, is moving fast. On June 23, Pacific Park Brooklyn tweeted, “Only have 50,000 trays of a total of 135,000 trays of sedum left to deliver!” And in the webcam picture below, you can see that the roof — from this angle anyway — is mostly covered. The remaining architectural and engineering work is due to wrap up by September.


    Barclays Center green roof, as of June 30. Photo via Atlantic Yards webcam



    Norman Oder of watchdog blog Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report points out that the construction was originally scheduled to be completed by July. The crane on Atlantic Avenue that has been there since October of last year was supposed to be gone by May. Will it be gone by the end of July?



    Barclays Center in transition. Photo via Atlantic Yards webcam

    In the meantime, it’s nice to see how the green of the roof, finally echoing the green roof of the adjacent subway entrance, makes the brown of the stadium’s weathering Cor-Ten steel look less like a rusting oil tanker and more like the colors of a Pacific Northwest rain forest.


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