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Monday, December 19, 2011
Cloud Controversy - World Trade Center
The Dutch architectural firm MVRDV submitted a design for a pair of towers in Seoul, South Korea. The “Cloud” design has become controversial as many believe it depicts a moment in time during the bombing of the World Trade Center. The original towers were opened in 1973 and were destroyed on September 11, 2001.
For me, the Korean design does evoke that unspeakable "moment." I'm not sure that's a bad thing, but I find the buildings clunky and inelegant as compared to the those that must have inspired MVRDV’s design aesthetic, e.g. the original towers, along with Hundertwasser's Waldspiral (iving architecture) and tree tenant buildings.
Many public art projects and sculptures function to recall incidents of history that should not be forgotten... I've included a local sculpture by Paul Conrad (in Santa Monica, CA) titled "Chain Reaction" as an example. Maybe we should use this controversy as an opportunity to rethink and discuss how architecture can function now and in the future.