The New York offices of SHoP Architects and Gensler have teamed up to bring the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island back to life. As part of a $165 million renovation, SHoP worked on the facade aspect of the design while Gensler configured the interior. Billy Joel will inaugurate the venue tomorrow with a concert.
The Coliseum first opened in 1972, but after 40 years of being the Islanders’ ice hockey home, the arena had fallen into a being a shadow of its former self. Developer Forest City Ratner Companies took on the task in 2013, teaming up with SHoP. The two firms had previously worked together on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and their second collaborative project appears to have produced a facade of similar standing.
Comprising 4,700 brushed aluminum fins, the facade gently undulates upon a horizontal axis as it wraps around the Coliseum. This is achieved by altering the fins’ angled vertices incrementally. According to a press release, the material references Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis—the first non-stop solo transatlantic flight which took off nearby.
The interior, meanwhile, makes use of the infused daylight from a new exterior glass storefront which illuminates a redesigned concourse, main entrance, and circulatory areas. New seating has also been installed within the 416,000-square-foot space. In addition to this, a new VIP Club and Blue Moon Beer Garden have also been installed as event amenity spaces.
For performers, “residential style living spaces” are part of the venue’s “Artist Quarters.” 1,500 staff are set to work at the Coliseum which will also double-up as a home for the Brooklyn Nets’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Long Island Nets, as well as hosting family shows, sports, and outdoor festivals.
“Our goal was to create a space that reflected the tremendous sense of place that permeates Long Island, from the look of the building, to the taste of the food,” said Bruce Ratner, executive chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies, the developer of the new venue in a press release. “Our talented architectural and development team have succeeded beyond our dreams, creating a venue that is visually striking and wonderfully comfortable. We’re excited about the opening and are looking forward to the ongoing development of this entertainment destination.”