An architectural design has evoked a ghastly image in the eyes of some: the burning World Trade Center shortly before its collapse on 9/11.
Renderings of two linked towers slated to be built in Seoul, South Korea, have set off a firestorm because of the design's perceived resemblance to New York City's Twin Towers as they billowed smoke and spewed debris after hijacked jets crashed into them on Sept. 11, 2001. The mockup of the proposed high-rises, which the architectural firm MVRDV introduced Dec. 6th, bears the resemblance in the eyes of some because of the 10-story "pixelated cloud" that connects the two buildings, MSNBC reports..
MVRDV insists that the designs are in no way meant to portray the destroyed buildings. "MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud project evokes regarding 9/11; it was not our intention," the Dutch company wrote on its Facebook page, which has drawn angry posts lambasting the designs.
"THIS IS [APPALLING]!" writes one critic on the firm's Facebook page. "How dare you design such a [hideous] monument to our pain and loss."
Some critics outraged by the design have allegedly gone further -- with threatening emails and phone calls "calling us Al Qaeda lovers or worse," the firm asserts in an apologetic Facebook post.
MVRDV says in the post that the cumulus shape of the towers' bridge was designed on the basis of "parameters such as sunlight, outside spaces, living quality for inhabitants and the city" and is thematically consistent with some of the firm's other designs that aim to "reinvent the often solitary typology of the skyscraper." A review of MVRDV's website reveals that the firm does seem to have a history of integrating unconventional, cloud-like shapes into its work. With a hollowed-out block resting on top of two towers, their "Torino Floating Tower" is one example of a past design that resembles the "The Cloud" project.
Nonetheless, members of the firm may not be able to credibly claim that they were totally oblivious to the possibility that renderings could conjure images of 9/11 in the minds of some. The Weekly Standard reports that a spokesman for the firm, Jan Knikker, conceded in an interview to the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that the designs look like the blazing World Trade Center, saying, "I have to admit that we also thought of the 9/11 attacks."
The outrage sparked by the tower designs could scuttle their construction, especially considering that the buildings are far from a done deal. The Korean development company that is paying for DreamHub said that the design is only one of 19 proposals, according to The Wall Street Journal, and that the winning submission will not be selected until next year, at the earliest.
'Cloud' Twin Towers: Design Insults 9/11 Victims, Critics Say
Are you sick of picket fences and tidy cupolas? Then take a trip with us down the rabbit hole as we tour some of the trippiest, most off-the-wall designs this side of Wonderland. Sure, it’s harder to qualify for a mortgage when your house is made of foam, and yes, it may take years to sell your deconstructivist compound in the desert, but why let a little thing like foresight get in the way of your dream home? Even if you’d never venture to buy one of the stunning homes on our list, it can’t hurt to take a brisk walk on the wild side.
This psychedelic dwelling sits on a hilltop in the ritzy D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Md. Composed of cinder, glass and wood, the home was designed by renowned Washington, D.C., architect Robert Gurney, says Realtor.com.
A deconstructivist home designed by the Viennese architectural firm, Coop Himmelb(l)au, this home would have had Jacques Derrida, the eminently verbose philosopher who developed the critical theory of deconstruction, offering a discreet golf clap (intellectual-style).
This downright disorienting property sprawls over 6.5 acres of desert, and plopped in its middle is this bizarre, L-shaped home. Designed by famed architect Will Bruder, it offers an airy two floors that are constantly flooded with light through floor-to-ceiling windows, says Realtor.com.
Built in 1969 for about $30,000, this house of hardened polyurethane insulation foam was designed by architect Winslow Wedin who was tasked with constructing something quite different than your average home. The "Ensculptic House," also known as the "Mushroom House" (guess why), offers two bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms and 4,080 total square feet.
The polyurethane of the home provides good insulation during the winter, which probably keeps energy bills low. Though the quirky home faced an uncertain future when it hit the market last year, the "Mushroom House" sold in June for $170,000, according to Twin Cities Business.
Selected as the "Built Green Home of the Year," this mansion sits on three acres "chosen" for their solar access, according to the listing. The exterior is made of "EverLogs," which imitate the texture and appearance of wood. The fake, but earth-friendly logs mean you never have to worry about fire, mold or insects.
This 9,689-square-foot futuristic home is "The New American Home" of 2011. Put on by the National Association of Home Builders, the show annually features a home boasting the latest in innovative building and design technologies. About as green as they come, the home is expected to expend 42 percent less energy than if it were built to minimum building codes. That adds up to savings of about $2,085 a year, according to the NAHB.
The home earns some of its green creds by using a drought-tolerant system. Trees and shrubs are positioned to shade the home while a water-efficient irrigation system reuses stored runoff collected in an underground storage tank.
Learn more about this home.
Known as the Acqua Liana -- the Fijian term for "water flower," according to McKinney's site -- the home sits on 1.6 acres of pristine coastal shoreline. The interior, however, channels 1960s Bond flicks. Its nautical theme runs throughout the expansive mansion.
The fact that the home includes solar panels, high-efficiency appliances, a reusable water filtration and a bevy of other sustainable design gimmicks -- er, features -- might be overshadowed by the view from this aquatic garage. Park your electric car beside this underwater dividing wall, perfect for peeking at poolside divers.