Dutch designers MVRDV are being called “Al Qaeda lovers” for mocking 9/11 with what that looks like a freeze frame of the Twin Towers exploding. Dubbed “The Could,” the towers are connected halfway up by a 10-floor-tall pixelated cloud that houses common areas such as gardens, fitness center, pool, and shops.
MVRDV initially feigned ignorance to any similarities between the buildings. “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process,” MVRDV wrote on their website. “We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, it was not our intention.”
The company line was later contradicted by designer Jan Knikker in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. “I have to admit that we also thought of the 9/11 attacks,” Knikker conceded. “But the intention wasn’t to draw an association with the attacks.”
The connection isn’t just superficial though. The Cloud towers are part of a larger project called the Yongsan Dream Hub, which is being designed by Daniel Libeskind. The same designer whose plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center were rejected.
Despite the controversy, there are no plans to redesign the Cloud towers, which will be completed in Seoul by 2015. In fact, MVRDV freely admits that it likes to stir up controversy. In 2008, the firm designed bent houses for the victims of Hurricane Katerina. MVRDV head Winy Maas told Metropolis Magazine, “Provocation is good, because it pushes people. We need architectural Michael Moores.”