Philip Nobel author of 16 acres has article in Metropolis Mag praising how Frank Gehry played low key to get the commission for the Performing Arts Center on the one blank spot on the Memorial superblock. He says:
Where everyone else has been fated to build on top of one another (or, worse, on top of, under, or wrapping the memorial), Gehry had gotten for himself the only blank slate–free of formal preconceptions and obligations to the dead.
Nobel still criticizes shoehorning so much architecture into the area which he calls an architectual petting zoo. Nobel quotes Kevin Rampe of LMDC as calling Fulton and Greenwich Streets as the “100 percent corner.”
The danger now, of course, with such a potential for excess–individual acts of expression by (clockwise from the southeast) Calatrava, Snøhetta, Arad, Gehry, and, for an abutting tower, one of four additional stars preselected by Silverstein–is that the corner will weigh in at a much higher percentage. How much architecture can Ground Zero take? Two hundred? Three hundred? One thousand percent? For his own good, Gehry played the process brilliantly, alone. For the good of the site, the master of Bilbao must now prove he can play well with others. Let’s hope he risks showing us some new tricks.