MVRDV Apologizes for World-Trade-Center-esque “Cloud” Twin Towers as Outrage Spreads

by , 12/16/11
filed under: Architecture,Manhattan,News

world trade center, wtc, twin towers, 9/11, september 11, 911,MVRDV, the cloud, seoul, korea, pixelated cluster, green roof, green building, luxury high rise, eco skyscraper, eco tower, yongsan dreambug, green design, green architecture, sustainable building, sustainable architecture, sustainable building, eco design

MVRDV just ignited a media firestorm as “The Cloud” – their new project for Seoul, Korea featuring two towers linked by a pixellated mass – drew comparison to the exploding form of New York City’s Twin Towers on 9/11. The architecture firm recently addressed cries of outrage by apologizing for the design, stating “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, the design was not meant to provoke this”, however Jan Marbles, one of MVRDV’s architects who worked on the project stated “I must admit that we just thought of September 11, 2001”. Many are still shocked and appalled by the design – according to MVRDV, they’ve received “threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse”. So what do you think – Are the towers offensively similar to the flaming World Trade Center buildings on September 11th, 2001? Tell us what you think after the jump.

Are you offended by the similarity between MVRDV's Cloud and the exploding form of the Twin Towers?

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  1. christina_marie04 December 29, 2011 at 9:17 am
    They knew what they were doing. No matter how many times they sit there and claim it wasnt their intention to create an image resembling the 9/11 attack, we all know that they did. whether it is to celebrate it or to remember it, we dont know. But they did know what they were doing. Hopefully they change the design out of respect to the victims of 9/11 and their families.
  2. rnbram December 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm
    I am surprised that, so far, no one has pointed out the appalling inappropriate placement and use of "After the Jump". Sure it was telling us to skip below and advertisement, but it was right under the crumbling tower from which so many leaped to their deaths to avoid the pain of fire. My point? Yep, the cloud buildings are a mistake, cancel them, and move on... stop all this self-righteous, holier than though, passive aggressive fault finding.
  3. cyclifier December 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm
    Like in Amy Waldmans book The Submission, the problem does not lie in the design or the designer but in the positive or negative predjudices people fall back on when they recognise something that they connect to their strong negative emotions. Even if MVRDV had 9/11 in mind when they were drawing this plan - and i just aswell beleive them didn't - a plan that looks like the destruction of twin towers is not necessairily an offense towards the victims or a choice for the ones that caused this terrible event. Amy Waldman shows how the role of the media in feeding and exploiting this trauma are tremendous and its perfectly illustrated by the two choices this article is offering its readers: if you recognise the exploding twin towers you have to be offended and if you don't you can't. I thought Inhabitat had a bit more subtle view on the world, but 'The Submission' shows how in these cases almost noone can permit himself not to be pushed towards extremes. Very sad.
  4. SRBChristian December 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    First, architects as a group are not arrogant pricks. Second, I did not see the similarity until it was pointed out, and even then I still don't see it as being offensive. I can understand how some may be made to feel uneasy by this, but to claim that it is a tasteless publicity stunt by a well celebrated architecture firm and to call them "al Qaeda lovers" is inappropriate and what is truly offensive out of all of this mess. There are many ways to see connections and offenses within various architectural works, but when should the perceived offenses of a few warrant a halt of progress in design and development? If this was a project being constructed in NYC I would say that in my opinion that it would be too soon and too close to too many who lost loved ones that day, but it's being built nearly on the opposite side of the world. The only way that this project could continue to bother and stir up feelings of hurt and mourning requires the media's involvement. Maybe they should lay off of a non-real issue?
  5. samdwood December 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm
    There should be a "Yes, it does remind me of 9/11 but no, I'm not offended" option. I don't believe it was necessarily the intention of MVRDV to do so. I especially don't believe that this was a publicity stunt. I think the "cloud" is a very interesting idea and inspiring design worth exploring further.
  6. cheeseEater December 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm
    That is a very cool design. I doubt anyone in korea was thinking much about this. It is not offensive. It doesn't celebrate the attacks. It's just a cool design. Say the word CLOUD while you look at it. It really does resemble a CLOUD. In fact it is named CLOUD. It is not named EXPLOSION or ATTACKS or anything else of the sort. It is CLOUD. People are overreacting, as usual...
  7. bugtussel December 13, 2011 at 7:43 am
    so can nobody design a twin tower with out offending any one?
  8. Wsiii December 13, 2011 at 7:13 am
    Architects, as a group, are arrogant pricks. In the case of the cloud, they are working to gain notoriety at the expense of others. If built, I hope it is not allowed to survive.
  9. brook December 12, 2011 at 8:47 pm
    An optional vote of "It only reminds me of the 9/11 attacks after it was pointed out" would have been my pick.