Zaha Hadid's reputation for groundbreaking architecture holds little sway in small-town America, with her $159m (£97m) design for a new civic centre in California hanging in the balance after being derided as looking like a "squid" and a "monster".
The Iraqi-born British architect's firm had been contracted to design and deliver a 78-acre site – comprising an arts centre, a library, youth sports facilities and a convention venue.
The project was intended to raise the profile of Elk Grove, near Sacramento.
Ms Hadid was chosen from 23 entries in 2006, but last year the contract was reduced to masterminding the general concept of the site, with precise design work put on hold until a future date.
Since then, the local council has seen a change of personnel, and at a planning meeting last week the new mayor made his unfavourable opinion clear. "This is more like something I'd see in Dubai than Elk Grove," Steven Detrick said.
The criticism of the scheme follows the International Olympic Committee's admittance that Ms Hadid's lauded design for the London Olympics aquatic centre will look its best only after the Games have finished due to requirements for temporary additional seating.