Proposed S. Korean Towers Resemble Exploding World Trade Center

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Proposed S. Korean Towers Resemble Exploding World Trade Center

| architecture, architecture critic | December 09, 2011

The unveiling of pictures of planned luxury residential towers scheduled to be built in Seoul, South Korea, has sparked instant controversy. The reason is obvious. The towers, which include a so-called “cloud” feature connecting them around the 27th floors, clearly resemble the World Trade Towers in the process of collapsing following the 9/11 attacks.

The designers of the towers, Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, have responded to the controversy by quickly publishing an apology in English. “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks,” the designers insist, “nor did we see the resemblance during the design process.”

They did not see the resemblance during the design process? The problem with this assertion – apart from its inherent implausibility – is that they have admitted the contrary in Dutch. Thus Jan Knikker of MVRDV told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, “I have to admit that we also thought of the 9/11 attacks.”

Moreover, given the context, the MVRDV architects could hardly have not thought of the 9/11 attacks. The residential towers, after all, are supposed to be built at the entrance to the so-called Yongsan Dream Hub: a complex of business towers that has been designed by none other than Daniel Libeskind, the designer of the original “master plan” for the reconstruction of Ground Zero. Indeed, as the below image from Studio Daniel Libeskind makes clear, Libeskind’s Yongsan Dreamhub “master plan” closely resembles his original “master plan” for lower Manhattan.

Source: The Weekly Standard



















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Drawing upon original ideas and extensive personal and professional experience in the field, David McFadden crafted this article to explore the untapped potential of making historic architectural masterpieces more sustainable. After working at various design practices—both full-time and freelance—and launching his design firm, David identified a significant gap in the industry. In 1984, he founded Consulting For Architects Inc. Careers, an expansive hub designed to align architects with hiring firms for mutual benefit. This platform enables architects to find impactful design work and frees hiring firms from the time-consuming cycles of recruitment and layoffs. David’s innovative approach to employer-employee relations has brought much-needed flexibility and adaptation to the industry. As the Founder and CEO, David has successfully guided his clients and staff through the challenges of four recessions—the early ’80s, early ’90s, early 2000s, the Great Recession, the pandemic, and the current slowdown due to inflation and high-interest rates.

2 Responses to "Proposed S. Korean Towers Resemble Exploding World Trade Center"
  • Timothy Blatner December 9, 2011

    Besides that, what a mash up! Looks like Habitat skewered by MIT dorms stood on end. Just because they can, doesn’t mean they ought to. Hope they reconsider.

  • SE December 12, 2011

    Let’s face it, though: the disastrous Libeskind “master plan” would do a lot more damage than the tasteless MVRDV design. Decades after such towers-in-the-park schemes have proven themselves alienating, anti-urban, and automobile-dependent, Studio Daniel Libeskind still thinks they are “dramatic”. Apparently, they believe that downtown Atlanta and the Americana Mall in Glendale, CA, represent urban design at its finest.

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