Developer of Seoul twin-tower project that seems to recall images of 9/11 insists scheme will go ahead as planned

The developer of a controversial twin-tower project in Seoul that seems to evoke images of the explosions at New York’s World Trade Centre in 2001 has insisted the building will go ahead as planned.

The design of the South Korean towers, which are connected midway by a cloud-shaped bridging section, sparked controversy last year after families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York’s twin towers said the building recalled images of the exploding World Trade Centre.

The Dutch architects MVRDV who designed the scheme apologised for any resemblance between the design and imagery associated with 9/11, which it said was unintentional.

MVRDV said the practice had received 200 hate emails from a US website after the release of the design and the firm had since presented the developer with an alternative design.

However, according to AFP, the developer Yongsan Development Corporation (YDC) has insisted that the scheme, dubbed ‘The Cloud’ , will go ahead as orginally envisaged.

“Allegations that [the design] was inspired by the 9/11 attacks are groundless,” a YDC spokesman told AFP.

“There will be no revision or change in our project,” he said, adding that construction would begin in January 2013 as scheduled.

The project, which comprises one tower with 54 floors and the other with 60, will be built at the entrance to Seoul’s redeveloped Yongsan business district and is expected to be completed by 2016.

In a statement MVRDV said: “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, it was not our intention.”