The Cloud by MVRDV


The Cloud by MVRDV

Skyscrapers in Seoul: Dutch architects MVRDV have designed two skyscrapers for Seoul, Korea, that will be joined at the hip by a pixelated cluster.

The Cloud by MVRDV

Top and above: images are © Luxigon

The cluster of blocks will swell out from the twenty-seventh floors of the 260 and 300 metre-high towers, collectively named The Cloud, to accommodate an atrium, restaurants, gym facilities, a conference centre and office-hotels.

The Cloud by MVRDV

Luxury apartments are to fill the remaining floors of the 54 and 60 storey towers, some of which will feature double-height rooms.

The Cloud by MVRDV

Above: image is © Luxigon

Townhouses will occupy the ground levels, while the top floors will be reserved for penthouses.

The Cloud by MVRDV

Landscape architect Martha Schwartz has designed a series of plazas, gardens and pools to surround the new buildings.

The Cloud by MVRDV

The project is part of a masterplan for the area by New York architects Studio Libeskind and is due to complete in 2015.

The Cloud by MVRDV

If you like this project, you may also be interested to see another pixelated skyscraper by the same architects - see more projects by MVRDV here.

Here's some more text from MVRDV:

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 Cloud by MVRDV

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.

The Cloud by MVRDV

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 Cloud by MVRDV

Above: image is © Luxigon

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.

The Cloud by MVRDV

Above: image is © Luxigon

The structural facade reveals the program behind it and its characteristic grid is extended over the surroundings where it creates gardens, pools and plazas. Parking is solved underground and the next metro station is in five minutes walking distance.

MVRDV is lead architect and works with architect of record Siaplan, Arup, Benoy Retail architects and Martha Schwartz Partners for the landscape.

  • Joost

    I'm sorry, is this an architecture and design blog where design concepts are discussed or a website for Americans with psychological issues? Just checking…

  • hbernstein

    please U.S. citizens, the world doesn't revolve around you. Do you really think a south korean investor cares about your personal 9/11 feelings? get alive …

  • I like it, although I agree with Kim about the rule of threes, and possibly if the cluster were a bit ore eased into the mass, and lower, it might be less 9/11-looking. (I mean really- you might as well design a building with a 747 silhouette through it). Architecturally, I think it owes a lot to Moshe Safdie's Habitat '67, lumpy cancerous growths on trees, backpacks… actually everything we were inspired by when we made a similar dresser a few years back:… ,so I'm into it, it just could use a little more tweaking…more boxes! Everywhere!

  • ntz

    this is Architecture in the age of Nihilism

  • val

    We`re reaching such an unbelievable manierism in Architecture that sooner or later will reveal itself as it is: mental masturbation. I´m completely sure that these stupid experiments won´t be remembered as interesting concepts in History of Architecture. At least I hope so. More than anything because they glorify themselves as sustainable and things like this is incoherent with sustainability…
    I think it´s not beautiful, it´s not logical, it´s not conceptually dense, it´s not useful; it´s not a good design. The only approachable concept it contains is their always repeated tetris pattern in the façade, but it´s not new. They´re repeating themselves without happiness…A pity some years ago I thought MVRDV made Architecture…

  • I have lost all respect for the clowns at MVRDV…I had always thought that architecture was about elevating human thought to a higher level….until now.

    You guys should stay in your part of the world and pollute your own neighborhood with your cheap -isms and your mindless cartoon buildings. Everyone else, move on, nothing more to see at this accident site!

  • If you think about it, the idea of using an actual living space as an sculptue of a milestone in the world history is really disruptive.

  • Montreal Habitat 67 in the air!

  • To have this lofty convivial area connecting the two buildings is some design fun and an interesting social exercise.

  • Alberto

    I actually thought it was designed in a new innovative platform called MINECRAFT!

    although the 9/11 reference is startling if only because of the fact that people could actually believe and feel that was MVRDV's inspiration and intention.

  • Joe

    a crying child would remind most of you of september 11..
    do you all get upset and reminiscent when you see an explosion in a movie?
    "steven speilberg should be ashamed, all those explosions reminding me of 9/11, i'm going to go online and blog about this!"

    i hope they make this building.
    really cool concept, especially in the first, second and fourth images..
    i can only imagine dropping something loud in that HUGE atrium at night.. the echo would wake half of Seoul..

  • Michael

    For all those posters who believe the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 only effected Americans, please research the events of that day. There were many foreign companies and employees in the WTC. There were also plenty of foreign travelers in the planes. Impact of the event changed the lives of many on a global scale. MVRDV knows better.

    If someone created a twisting project that was reminiscent of the train attacks in Spain, regardless of nationality, I'd hope you'd find offense for them.

    If you want a design evaluation, I won't waste a lot of breath on this project. I can summarize it in two sentences:

    "The Japanese metabolists were here in the late 60's, perhaps Safdie could give them some advice."

    "I think I saw this in Minecraft."


    • Lord Quas

      We should just all be offended with everything beyond rectangular towers, because ultimately the WTC looked like it at some point when falling down. I just hope we use the WTC to preserve the status quo, because architects are paid too much when they are creative

  • Diego

    I have to say, if this was an art piece then it would be successfull from all the comments observed. As in art, it is important to provoke social & cultural ideolagies.
    Architecture, as with design comes with a certain higher responsibility to society and it's environment. MVRDV should've posted their objective reasoning for this and I myself find this in bad bad taste. It is clear that theiy've gone solely for an idea. C'mon, telling me they didn't know they were going to get such a reaction!

    I think theres a couple of clever douches floating around MVRDV's own cloud calling themselves Artists!

    • Maybe people should also consider the fact its placed in Korea, i mean Eastern civilization highly appreciates the reflection on nature, so maybe for us Westerns it might not do the trick, but why shouldn't architecture be a bit more free and fresh in a conceptual sense? If its still functional i'd say yey.

  • HermesX3

    Exactly how does this offend the families of the victims of 9/11? If this was planned to be built on ground zero by an american company, it would be regarded as a tribute. So many deaths happen around the world everyday because of wars, but I bet none of the people posting here complained when a certain president sent troops to the middle east under false pretenses and even got reelected. The term hypocrisy comes to mind.

    • L Blass

      A trbitue?!? This type of comment just reveals the utter insensitivity and stupidity behind this design, two towers, one slightly taller than the other, much like World Trade Center, with the form of an explosion cloud at approximately the same height, per scale, of the initial WTC explosions. You don't create a statue of a car crashing into a person as a "tribute" to someone hit by a car, much as the sane do not recreate disaster scenes to spec as a tribute to survivors. Shame on these shameless and desperate publicity-seeking and needing architects, and double shame on a world-class firm like Libeskind for even considering having anything to do with these so-called "Architects"

      • Diego


        @ Stefan Tervoort – I see your point about architecture being all free & fresh but L Blass summs it up nicely. Whether, it's in Korea, or in the Namib desert is irrelevent! Everyone Globally knows what Japan went through this year for instance.

  • Burp

    If there was no 9/11, this building should have been fine — a mass of cloud poetically caught up in the buildings…

    Architecture reflects the reality of the world and life in general. It should be respectful and sensitive.

  • I think the company succeeded in creating a stir and managed to gain publicity for their work. I think a skyscraper that goes through clouds is a creative idea

  • creeper

    looks like minecraft, I say.

  • Papusie

    I still don't see the 9/11 connotation, if it wasn't mentioned by others, I would not think about it, except for the 'almost' twin towers look. Had there been three or a cluster of 4/5 towers nobody would have mentioned it.
    Anyway, I would say it's playful, although the cloud concept is clever, eventually, the final result is either than something cloud-like. Yes, solidity and straight lines, do not evoke the concept of a cloud.

  • We have here a design from a Netherlands based company for a client in South Korea. That's where subject and opinions need to remain.

    If South Korean consensus was paranoid uncultured thugs asserting world peace through a global military protection racket designed to destroy all established cultures and humane existence as a means of perpetuating violent conflict to maintain control of it, they would be likely to associate this design choice with what a subjugated nation would refer to as a perfectly understandable protest response.

    As neither conflict or reprisal applies to Architect or client here, all such association based accusations against this project are completely irrelevant and totally out of order.

    Many people here need to confront their mirrors to study who is guilty of being the most militantly unreasonable protagonists advocating design censorship.

  • tony

    Actions are now being taking to organize a Boycott. You've damaged your brand and caused hollandstan to loose respect AND business in the USA.

  • People hating are the reason that 9/11 happened. People hating each other because of religion, race, color or personal opinions should all be ashamed of themselves. When will it all STOP. I watched as the plane hit the tower in which my dad worked. I cried and my heart broke as the tower fell knowing my dad was not coming home. I lost my dad on that horrific day. ALL BECAUSE OF HATE!!! I believe that this design was not intentional to resemble that day. They realized the error and apologized. All is forgiven. I do not hold all of those that practice the religion of those that killed my dad and over 2,000 people that day responsible. Only those that flew the planes and ordered it to be done are responsible. Justice has been served for those people. Hate me if you want. Call me a traitor if you want. BUT I will sleep at night knowing that hate will not fill my heart and mind. I am moving on with my life having the wonderful memories that I had with my dad. Those will live on in me forever, not that day.

  • Gustavo

    I don't mind if it makes me remember 9/11… What matters is it's simply U G L Y!

  • Felipe

    Perhaps now when people see a 9/11 freeze frame they will think "Hey, it's that Korean building!"

  • Of course now I can only look at it as a 9/11 reference, but when I first saw this design, I thought it was a brilliant attempt to bring Patrick Jean's short Pixels to life (


    Architecture hijacked entirely for media PUBLICITY and HYPE.
    SAME AS motives surrounding the original event………………


  • Although it does ring a bell from 9/11, looking beyond that I think it's a nice building! I love the way they incorporated the gardens and how they connect the two buildings.

  • Elgrecus

    First: I kind of like the design, allusions aside.

    Second: I really don't like most of MVRDV's work. It's bad Post-Post-Modernism.

    Third: Complete lie that it never occurred to them that it might resemble 9/11.

    Fourth: If, in fact, it never occurred to ANYONE on the team, please, find new professions.

    Fifth: Incredibly cheap publicity stunt.

    Sixth: Publicity stunt worked! MVRDV brand awareness: increased. Mission accomplished.

  • avianti armand

    without the cloud, the two towers are just nice and proper. but if mvrdv want to keep the cloud, i believe they can make it more aesthetic. this one is just ugly.

  • mdl

    so if it does remind one of 911 how would you feel if you lost a dad, a sister, a friend?
    not fresh inspiring air to this architect. Just sad. you could have lego- straddled the towers without this obvious reference…sorry thumbs down

  • Nan

    Too much hours in front of Minecraft :)

  • Fling

    With increasing frequency & magnitude, architects are desperately trying to be the punchy ONE LINER conceptual artist & sculptors; abetted by media of the sensational & marketing, masquerading as architectural critics & historians. Referring to comments on Eliasson's building(5th dec), this 'cloud' & 'cantilevering barn' would be an appropriate case to state that "Architects Do Not Make Good Art"( nor humor).
    With all due credits to the engineers, the end products are clumsy constructed cartoons of mono dimensional concerns & intent. PIXAR's Sic-Fic artists would have produce a much more intriguing & less imposing product.
    Perhaps these star-chitects are having the biggest laugh of their lives behind the backs of clients, the public & media.

  • barrlley

    Its somewhat in poor form, regardless of the concept to settle on this as a final design. The imagery is really loaded, and not in a positive way. You might as well design huge swastica buildings–as long as its conceptually interesting that is.

  • thom

    Sad to see so many people becoming offended by an architectural design concept. It would have been a sick design joke if planes were sticking out of the towers, but they are not. What happened in NYC was terrible, but we have to be rational and get on with living. The design for two towers in a cloud is a strong image and could become a monument of hope instead. I say, let's build and overcome!

  • Abunuha

    Its a blatant accusation to say that this two towers reflect 9/11. Y see the negative side of it more whereas the potentialities are far greater in this design? I do not think MVRDV should even apologize to this 'coincidence'. Cmon ppl. Grow up!

  • khozo89

    9/11 never came to mind! This is all just baseless and mindless propanganda. A project should be judged architecturally. The project is highly refflective of it's concept.

    Americans seriously need to learn that everything is NOT ABOUT 9/11!!

  • Tom

    Some people may see 9/11, other people see two towers joined at the hip, every pair of square towers that will be built or proposed from now untill the end of time will be likened to the ones that stood in New York that September morning, admitedly once someone told me that they could see 9/11 in the towers then all of a sudden i too could see the likeness, but as an avid fan of MVRDV i very much doubt that they meant it as an insult to the victims….its just one of life's coincidences, the brain matches images we recognise with things we see, thats why we see faces in rocks or patterns in the sky…….and this is all this is, overactive imagination.

  • james

    How come no one complains that all the other skyscrapers remind people of dildos and sexual symbols anymore? Most of the arguments here are super nationalistic-focused. It might have reminded people of 9 11 and perhaps the design isn't too pleasant, so what? It's in Korea, not in new york. It's completely different historically and culturally.
    As a new yorker, I think it's fine. Not everything revolves around new york.

  • Josh

    Get over it people. Anytime someone designs 2 buildings side by side people start going on about 9/11. The whole world doesnt revolve around 9/11 and this building isn't even going to be built in the US. If someone built a mushroom shaped tower in Japan, I doubt anyone would harp on about Hiroshima.

  • I love this tower but other side of my self said that it was bringing the 9/11 tragedy back to our lives…..

  • The concept is cool but the design needs work. Of course two rectangular forms joined by a cloud cluster symbolizes 9/11. The towers should be a different shape and the cluster should be reworked into a zig zag or something. If it gets built as is there will be some real problems.

  • LIKE these `tower-gardens`

  • guest

    Great concept, unfortunately it's about 50 years too early. 9/11 was so incredibly traumatic that most of us who were alive back then need to have grown old and passed on before something like this can be built.

  • Tony

    Great idea, not so great execution. Even without the 9/11 impact, the towers from a distance look like they have grown a cancerous growth. I wouldn't want that taking up my cityscape.

  • Just doesn't look natural on the skyline.

  • If 911 never happened, I might see clouds. Having been in NYC that day, and running from clouds smoke as Number 7 went down, all I can see are the twins collapsing. Sorry. Thumbs down.

  • anton

    Look, any pair of featureless rectilinear towers planted next to one another will evoke 9/11. They knew that and should admit it was deliberate. I do like the idea of linking buildings in this way though and – 9/11 aside – the cloud form suggests something tall and heavenly.

  • Ben Carroll

    9/11 aside (come on people) the building is aesthetically offensive. It has the grace of a dodge dart and it inspires feelings like confusion, consternation and frustration. The design IS intriguing, but in execution, it looks like a building was attacked by some odd concrete fungal infection.