Center of Controversy


By now you’ve surely seen the new renderings by SOMA architects for Park51, the Muslim cultural center in Lower Manhattan. (I refuse to call it the M—– at G—– Z—.) The design seems to me a half-baked attempt at trendy architecture—starchitecture—produced in the hope of demonstrating the progressive ideals of the project’s sponsors. I wish the architecture were better, but they nevertheless have every right to build it. My piece on the controversy, written before the release of these images, appears in the latest issue of Architectural Review. Click through to learn what a stripper, a mayor, and yours truly have in common.