You’ve got yourself a relocated NBA franchise with a reinvigorated brand, plus a number of high-profile fans that are drooling over the “future is now” idea even before the season tips off. So why is the Barclays Arena–the state-of-the-art home to the hyped-up Brooklyn Nets–covered in rust?
That’s the question on lots of people’s lips (including the New York Times’) as they pass the almost-completed structure. The architectural explanation is that the arena’s facade is created from Cor-Ten, a building material that flourished in the ’70s by showing off a “weathered steel” look. It gained popularity among the Brutalist movement for its oxidized appearance, which in theory is supposed to guard against interior structural damage by building up a protective layer of rust on the outside.
Yet that doesn’t always work. Deadspin runs down a lengthy list of sports venues that have failed spectacularly by using Cor-Ten because the material ended up rusting too much. The good news is the Barclays Center doesn’t use Cor-Ten for structural support, but the bad news is the place will look shit-brown in a hot minute. “Urban decay chic” might not be what the boss is going for as he tries to sell those VIP suites. On second thought, though, the old-school look might fit right in with its Brooklyn environment.