Banksy doesn't like the design of One World Trade Center

The controversial British artist took up architecture criticism in an attempted op-ed for The New York Times—then took a jab at the newspaper for rejecting it



Add +

Photograph via Banksy

Banksy has nearly reached the end of his monthlong NYC residency, but even as the project enters its final days, he's found new ways to ruffle feathers. His latest target is One World Trade Center—or rather its design, which he criticized yesterday in a rejected New York Times op-ed (pictured below), posted on his website. Set in the newspaper's recognizable typeface, the scathing review calls the nearly complete, 1,776-foot-tall building "the biggest eyesore in New York," "a disaster," a "non-event," a spineless "shyscraper" and, perhaps worst of all, "something they would build in Canada."

But that's not all. The graffiti artist took to the walls of Greenpoint on Sunday to express his disappointment with The New York Times for not printing the piece, stenciling "This site contains blocked messages" at Noble and West Streets. Gothamist reports that the piece has already been taken down. A spokesperson from the Times told the New York Post that the editorial was rejected because the two parties couldn't agree on the piece or the artwork and added, "What he has posted on his site is not exactly the same as what he submitted.”

What do you think of the forthcoming One World Trade Center? (Compared with these blights on our skyline, we think it's pretty okay.)

What do you think? Tell us below!

Users say


As a New Yorker who works one block away from ground zero, I am embarrassed by One Trade Center. In the supposedly cultural capital of the world, with two design competitions and too many years of delay, this it what they come up with? This unbelievably pedestrian eye soar. Wasn't sure how a felt about the original, winning Libeskind design, but now that I see how they've distorted it, I realize that original vision was, in retrospect, thoughtful, thought-provoking, tributary, sexy and ultimately beautiful. I can't imagine the suits from whatever firm that built this monstrosity sitting around reviewing their design and no one thought to say, "Ummm, this really sucks, people." Bravo to the construction workers that built it, though - it's a marvel in the science of architecture. But as for the other architectural essential, the art of design, One World Trade Center is an abject failure. There still may be hope, however (or at least some hope to cling on to temporarily). Every design plan (including the Path station) and already-constructed building surrounding One Trade Center dwarfs it aesthetically. Maybe hanging out with the cool kids will make One Trade Center look better in the mind's eye, at least. A beauty mark on an otherwise gorgeous face, rather than a distracting disfigurement that you can't pretend not to see (already, it sort of looks good in television long shots). I disagree with Mayor Bloomberg on a lot of issues, but I can't believe that if he was in charge at the time when this was being conceived, as opposed to those titans of taste Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki, that this would have been the result of the centerpiece symbolic tribute to the character, resiliency and talents of the great City of New York. What a shame, what a crying shame, and bravo to Bansky for being brave enough (albeit in anonymity) to say that the Emperor being paraded right in front of us is really not wearing any clothes.

Send tips and cat photos to:

Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

Time Out videos

Subscribe to Time Out New York on Spotify for playlists and recommendations from our Music team.

Check out New York's best restaurants, hottest street style, cool apartments and more.