The design for the luxury apartment buildings in Yongsan was released last week and shows a structure which juts out at the middle to accommodate pools, restaurants, cafes and a gym.
Relatives of victims of al Qaeda's September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States have expressed outrage, according to US media reports, saying the designers have no respect for those that died and branding the design a cheap publicity stunt.
Designer MVRDV said it had not intended to create an image resembling the attacks, and it did not see the resemblance during the design process.
"We sincerely apologise to anyone whose feelings we have hurt. It was not our intention," the company said on its website.
MVRDV did not indicate whether it would change the design.
8 Dec 2011
MVRDV designs The Cloud : two connected luxury residential towers in Seoul, Korea
Yongsan Dream Hub corporation presented today the MVRDV designed residential development of the Yongsan Business district: two connected luxury residential high-rises. A 260 meter tall tower and a 300 meter tall tower are connected in the centre by a pixelated cloud of additional program offering amenities and outside spaces with wide views. The towers with a total surface of 128,000m2 are expected to be completed in 2015.
The two towers are positioned at the entrance of the Yongsan Dreamhub project, a master plan designed by Studio Libeskind, extending the business district of the South Korean capital Seoul. The southern tower reaches a height of 260 meters with 54 floors, the northern tower 300 meters with 60 floors. Halfway, at the level of the 27th floor the cloud is positioned, a 10 floor tall pixelated volume, connecting the two towers. The cloud differentiates the project from other luxury developments, it moves the plinth upwards and makes space on ground floor level for public gardens, designed by Martha Schwartz.
Usually a high-rise adds little to the immediate surrounding city life, by integrating public program to the cloud the typology adds in a more social way to the city. Inside the cloud, besides the residential function, 14,357m2 of amenities are located: the sky lounge - a large connecting atrium, a wellness centre, conference centre, fitness studio, various pools, restaurants and cafes. On top of the cloud are a series of public and private outside spaces, patios, decks, gardens and pools. To allow fast access the cloud is accessible by special express elevators.
The luxurious apartments range from 80m2 to 260m2 of which some offer double height ceilings , patios or gardens. The towers with a perfect square floor plan contain four corner apartments per floor offering each fine daylight conditions and cross ventilation. Each tower is accessed via a grand lobby at ground level; the rest of the ground floor is divided into town houses. In addition to the amenities the Cloud furthermore contains 9,000m2 of Officetel (Office-Hotel) a typical Korean typology and 25,000m2 panoramic apartments with specific lay-outs. The top floors of both towers are reserved for penthouse apartments of 1200m2 with private roof gardens.
Studio Daniel Libeskind has been named winner of the master plan competition for the Yongsan International Business District of Seoul, South Korea. The new large-scale district features a cluster of residential, office and retail neighborhoods in an extensive urban park along the Han River.
The plan, called Archipelago 21 because each of the linked neighborhoods functions like "islands" within a sea of green park space, will contain a total of 34 million square feet of built area. The $20 billion development is slated to break ground in 2011. The development entity is Yongsan Development Co., Ltd, a South Korean conglomerate. The district will also contain new cultural institutions, educational facilities and rapid transportation systems.
"We are proud to be selected for this major project from among so many distinguished firms," Mr. Libeskind said. Finalists included Asymptome, Foster+Partners, Jerde Partnership and Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Studio Daniel Libeskind worked with ARUP and Martha Schwartz, Inc. on the winning entry.