DECEMBER 12 2011 21:29h
Designer: Twin towers not inspired by 9/11
The side-by-side lookalike South Korean luxury skyscrapers, dubbed "The Cloud," simply are connected midway up by a 10-floor-high "pixilated cloud" passageway that houses "a large atrium, a wellness center, conference center, fitness studio, various pools, restaurants and cafes," MVRDV of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, says.
The firm "regrets deeply any connotations" between The Cloud and iconic images of debris flying out from the World Trade center's twin towers moments after the buildings were smashed into by a pair of hijacked commercial jetliners Sept. 11, 2001, MVRDV says on its Facebook page.
"It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks, nor did we see the resemblance during the design process," the Facebook entry says. "We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt."
The firm, which said the South Korean media "hailed the project as a great innovation," adds, "A real media storm has started and we receive threatening e-mails and calls of angry people calling us al-Qaida lovers or worse."
The terrorists flying two Boeing 767 jets into the World Trade Center -- killing 2,753 people -- were affiliated with the militant Islamist terrorist organization founded by Osama bin Laden.
The Seoul towers are part of a bigger project, called the Yongsan Dream Hub, whose designer, Daniel Libeskind, is also the master plan architect for New York's Ground Zero reconstruction and memorial.
Comments on MVRDV's Facebook page range from outraged to flattering.
"You 'genius' architects couldn't see what this resembled?" asks Joe Rossi of Marshfield, Mass. After inserting an expletive of incredulity in full caps, he adds, "You guys are insensitive beyond belief." The comment by Rossi, an aspiring town politician, was later removed from the page.
Dayton, Ohio, registered nurse Linda Clark writes: "I as an American am EMBARRASSED! These buildings are beautiful and NOT a reminder of the WTC. Shame on ANYONE of ANY country tying this building to 9/11."
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Twin apartment towers planned by a Dutch architectural firm were never intended to look like New York's World Trade Center in mid-explosion, the firm said.