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Archicritic Trashes Transportation Hub, Calls It 'LOL-ugly'

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New York Post archicritic Steve Cuozzo is, to put it lightly, not pleased with how Santiago Calatrava's radical design for the World Trade Center Transportation hub is turning out. In his new article "New York's $4B shrine to government waste and idiocy," Cuozzo reams the pricey undertaking as a work better in theory; he labels it, in actuality, a self-serving vanity act by Calatrava, a mar on the site of reverence that is the World Trade Center plaza, a cheapy-looking plastic dragon that would scare a child. Cuozzo gets more vicious (and pithy) than that. Read on for the ten best lines from Cuzzo's vicious letter of dissent.

1. "Here comes The Calatrasaurus7#151;the Port Authority's 'World Trade Center Transportation Hub,' a cyclopean PATH terminal onto which scary 'wings' have been grafted like plastic mutant terrors of 1950s sci-fi movies."

2. "The Hub exhausts your capacity for cheap jokes."

3. "... the embarrassing ugliness of this $4 billion boondoggle ... grows plain for all to see. Not everyday-ugly, like a tacky brown tie or dress, but LOL-ugly."

4. "[It is] a self-indulgent monstrosity wildly out of proportion to everything around it, and 100 percent aloof from the World Trade Center's commercial and commemorative purposes."

5. "Is it unfair to trash an unfinished project? Well, it's going to look weirder, and worse, when it's done."

6. "A planned white paint job of the now battleship-gray ribs beneath the wings will only sharpen the skeletal appearance."

7. "But it does not follow from Gehry's [Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao] that an architect should stick thumbs in the eyes of everything around a new project and say, 'Look at me! I'm Calatrava!'"

8. "But the 'bird in flight' has bird-and-switched into a sharp-edged stegosaurus shorn of beauty by 'value engineering'—the cost-saving strategy which alters or replaces just enough of an architect's original vision to make it look cheap."

9. "The mighty steel ribs which support the wings—admittedly an impressive piece of engineering—may frighten small children."

10. From inside the Hub's tentacular underground passageways, which I saw on a tour last summer, they evoke the monster-infested spaceship of 'Alien.'"

· New York's $4B shrine to government waste and idiocy [NYP]
· All World Trade Center Transportation Hub coverage [Curbed]
· All Santiago Calatrava coverage [Curbed]