New York Times critic Nicolai Ouroussoff let out a page-shattering howl of rage and disbelief this morning over the updated design for the planned Nets stadium at the Atlantic Yards. Bemoaning the predictable yet disastrous cycle by which such big developments cave in atop their own starchitects, promises, and ambitions, Ourousoff praises Frank Gehry’s original design and excoriates the unoriginal, cookie-cutter creation of Midwestern firm Ellerbe Becket. It’s a startlingly fun read. Allow us to distill it for you:
The new “colossal, spiritless” stadium is “a blow to the art of architecture” that “should enrage all those who care about this city.” It is “a shameful betrayal of the public trust.” Its “low-budget, no-frills design embodies the crass, bottom-line mentality that puts personal profit above the public good” and would “fit more comfortably in a cornfield than at one of the busiest intersections of a vibrant metropolis.” “As glamorous as a storage warehouse,” it “lacks the sense of mystery and surprise that was such an essential part of the Gehry design … adding nothing.” If it is ever built, “it will create a black hole in the heart of a vital neighborhood.”
Also, it’s fat. Ugh.