Seoul’s 9/11-like design: not a good idea at all!

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The Korea Times

 12-11-2011 18:15
‘9/11’-evoking design causes stir 

The architect’s drawing of a skyscraper to be built at Yongsan International Business District, central Seoul. The design has been criticized for a resemblance of the New York World Trade Center’s exploding in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack. / Yonhap


By Kim Rahn

The design of a skyscraper to be built in central Seoul is drawing international media backlash due to the alleged similarity to the New York World Trade Center (WTC) towers exploding on Sept. 11, 2001.

Not only those who lost their beloved ones in the terrorist attack in 2001 but also others are denouncing the design which a Dutch architectural firm recently disclosed for luxury residential towers at Yongsan International Business District, according to New York Daily News and other international dailies.

But the firm, MVRDV, said it neither noticed the resemblance, nor intended it.

According to the blueprint, a 300-meter-high apartment building and another 260-meter-high one are connected in the middle by a passage named a “pixelated cloud.”

The cloud-shaped passage was designed to accommodate sky lounges, restaurants and other community facilities such as swimming pools and fitness centers. The district developer plans to decide the final design plans by March.

But critics claim the “cloud” resembles the shower of debris that erupted from the WTC twin towers after the plane strikes.

“I think it’s a total lie and they have no respect for the people who died that day. They’re crossing a line. It looks like the towers imploding. I think they’re trying to sensationalize it. It’s a cheap way to get publicity,” Jim Riches, a former New York City Fire Department (FDNY) deputy chief who lost his son in the terrorist attack, was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Regarding the row, MBRDV expressed regret on its website over any connotation the design evokes. “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, it was not our intention,” the firm said.

But the company didn’t indicate whether it will change the design.

The New York newspaper pointed out the irony that Daniel Libeskind, who is leading the master plan of the business district design, also created the master plan of the rebuilt WTC.

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Reuters

Dutch architects apologise for 9/11 blast look-alike design

SEOUL | Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:26am GMT

(Reuters) – A Dutch architectural firm has apologised for its design of twin skyscrapers in central Seoul which resemble the exploding World Trade Center towers in New York and have infuriated families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

The blueprint for the luxury apartment buildings was released last week and shows a structure which juts out at the middle to accommodate pools, restaurants, cafes and a gym.

Relatives of victims of al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States have expressed outrage, according to U.S. media reports, saying the designers have no respect for those that died and branding the design a cheap publicity stunt.

Designer MVRDV said it had not intended to create an image resembling the attacks, and it did not see the resemblance during the design process.

“We sincerely apologise to anyone whose feelings we have hurt. It was not our intention,” the company said on its website.

It did not indicate whether it would change the design.

“A real media storm has started and we receive threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us al Qaeda lovers or worse,” it said on its Facebook page.

The district developer is expected to decide on the final design plans by March.

(Reporting by Jeremy Laurence; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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