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Innovation

In Seoul, controversial tower design to proceed as planned

Yes, the imagery is questionable, but what are the real design shortcomings?
Written by Sun Kim, Contributor on

The developers of the MVRDV designed towers that evoke the 9/11 attacks have confirmed that they are moving ahead with the project as designed. The project, named the Cloud, is a proposal for twin towers in Seoul.

The design and responses to it have been all over the architecture blogosphere since the plans were unveiled in December. The basic rundown: the developers proudly revealed their stylish, Dutch firm designed project and were pelted with comments ranging from withering to hateful from the general public (or at least the general public that pays attention to international building proposals).

MVRDV have issued an apology and even presented an alternate scheme to the developers, who are not interested in a re-design. Not surprising since construction for the 128,000 square meter (1,377,780 square foot) project is scheduled to begin in early 2013. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Yongsan Development Corporation feel “Allegations that [the design] was inspired by the 9/11 attacks are groundless. There will be no revision or change in our project."

Let’s look at this project from another, still slightly unfavorable, angle.

Lots of other building proposals include gleaming super tall towers and extruded, suspended boxes without suffering as much wrath, overblown by the media or not. The missteps in the design decisions here seem to be 1. really, really bad timing and 2. composition. If the Cloud had shown up before 2001 it might have been viewed as just another design proposed by an elite architecture firm. But then the ‘cloud’ is awkwardly placed in the middle of the towers. Coupled with the historical context, the result unfortunately comes across as offensive.

The project is part of an ambitious master plan of the Yongsan area that includes projects by other premiere designers, that have unfortunately been overshadowed by the Cloud.

Image: copyright Luxigon/MVRDV

Via: The Sydney Morning Herald

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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