Seoul’s “The Cloud”: Whoops!

I don’t know what else to say about MVRDV’s project, The Cloud. On the one hand, it looks kind of cool and I’d imagine living in one of the luxury suites would be pretty awesome. On the other, it sorta resembles… well, the World Trade Centre on the morning of September 11, 2001.

While it is supposed to look like a pixellated cloud, and while it does incorporate all sorts of green space and cool, eco-friendly stuff like that, it really kinda does look like, well, 9/11.

Noted media hasbeen (or neverwas? or stillis? I don’t know) Glenn Beck pointedly asked if it “this building – which is still on track for construction – a purposeful slam on America? Is it a celebration of the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 innocent Americans?” And while the question is a bit pretty ridiculously extreme and really not worth addressing because Glenn Beck is insane, the soul of the question is essentially, don’t they realise how insensitive this is?

And I guess so. They apologized on Facebook:

A real media storm has started and we receive threatening emails and calls of angry people calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse.

MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11, it was not our intention.

The Cloud was designed based on parameters such as sunlight, outside spaces, living quality for inhabitants and the city. It is one of many projects in which MVRDV experiments with a raised city level to reinvent the often solitary typology of the skyscraper. 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.

So, I guess, what now? I’m torn, myself.

On the one hand, I think it’s hard to deny that it looks like the twin towers. On the other, it was designed innocently enough and, to be frank, what does it matter? It’s not like the thing is being built on Ground Zero or anywhere in the US. At what point would something like this be OK — will something like this ever be OK? It’s not an intentional jab at 9/11, and if the firm set out to “reinvent the often solitary typology of the skyscraper”, they definitely achieved it. I mean, it is a really cool looking building.

I guess, too soon?


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