[across from the nets]

If you asked your typical Brooklynite to name a major development project in town, you’d probably hear about the controversial, Frank Gehry-designed Brooklyn Nets arena that developer Bruce Ratner wants built over the Atlantic Yards, a derelict patch of MTA land. Or you might hear about the Fairway and Ikea planned for Red Hook.

But surprisingly little attention has been paid to the plans for a new Visual and Performing Arts Library, or VPA, which would sit across the street from the new Nets complex. Designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten (who is profiled in a Slate slideshow), the clean lines of the VPA would be an interesting contrast to the expressionist jumble of Gehry’s fantasyland.

Of course, no one can be sure that any of this stuff will actually get built. But I do expect the landscape of Downtown Brooklyn to look decidedly different ten years from now, and it could do worse than to become a showcase for innovative contemporary architecture.