he image: Yongsan Dream Hub corporation in Seoul, South Korea, unveiled plans last week for a high-rise luxury apartment complex consisting of two towers connected halfway up by a "pixellated cloud" of gardens, homes, public spaces, and shops. The problem? Viewers immediately noted that the "macabre" design looks a lot like the World Trade Center towers in mid-explosion on Sept. 11, 2001. (See images at right and below.) Dutch architects MVRDV said they had no intention of evoking the horrors of 9/11, and apologized "to anyone whose feelings we have hurt."
The reaction: I'm sure the architects were not going for a reaction like, "AAAAAGH! YOU HAVE ERECTED A TERRIFYING MONUMENT TO THE NIGHTMARES OF 9/11!!!" says Seth Abramovitch at Gawker. But how could they have missed this connection? says John Rosenthal at The Weekly Standard. The master planner for the larger Yongsan project is Ground Zero master planner Daniel Libeskind, and his Korea design "closely resembles his original 'master plan' for lower Manhattan." Hmmm, says Jen Chung at Gothamist. Libeskind's preferred proposal for the WTC-replacing Freedom Tower was scrapped amid "lots of drama." Doesn't "this design kind of seems like an F-U"? Judge for yourself:
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