"Exploding" twin towers by MVRDV
cause outrage


The Cloud by MVRDV

Dezeen Wire: Dutch architects MVRDV have received threatening emails and angry phone calls after revealing proposals for skyscrapers that resemble the exploding World Trade Centre on 9/11.

We published the project first on Dezeen, prompting outrage from many of our readers. One declared the images “insensitive and offensive” while another claimed “this is like 9/11 freeze framed”.

Above: The Cloud by MVRDV - see more images in our earlier story

In an article titled “Do These Skyscrapers Remind You Of The 9/11 Attacks?” online magazine Fast Co. Design used Dezeen’s reader comments to explain the story, while gadget blog Gizmodo Australia led a piece with the question “What The Hell Were These Architects Thinking?”

In an official statement on their Facebook page, MVRDV apologise for any upset cause and explain that they did not see the resemblance during the design process. However, Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad claims that MVRDV representative Jan Knikker admitted that they in fact did notice, fuelling the debate further.

Most recently, American magazine the New York Post have picked up the story, blasting the towers as “sick” and “a spectacular case of architectural tastelessness” and the BBC reported the story in their televised news program.

You can see all the original images here, or contribute to the debate by adding a comment here.


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  • clade

    now this is something new in the architecture business… mvrdv are known to be a criticized for disregarding feelings of people (a competition for a shotgun house in post-katrina south US comes to mind or that skyscraper for pig farming and so on) .. so they're assholes sometimes and they get good laughs but they seem to have gone bit too far this time. it sure is a nice project though…

  • thinkcreatebe

    It would be really nice if people start criticizing architecture for what it is instead of focusing on the meere visual resemblance of a proposal. that´s not architecture, that´s an attempt to represent of an idea, a concept, that is brought to the general public so that the architect has a way of communicating his concept…I havent read any comment or question whatsoever related to the project itself…Go figure…

  • I’m glad this went viral and mvrdv is was reached out to by numerous sources with a slap in the face. I remember seeing this and the debates started here on Dezeen, looks like it wasn’t a bunch of us followers being over sensitive but rather a large majority of people felt the same way. Its hard to believe they would say ‘that they did not see the resemblance during the design process. ‘ Especially when blatantly choosing angles to render from this gave it the most resemblance to the towers coming down.

  • Corb

    I'm just offended that the design is so bad.

  • Cmac

    People need to grow up and stop claiming to be offended by everything. awwww an architects design hurt your feelings? have a cry and shut up. I think the design is VERY average but that has nothing to do with peoples whingeing.

  • Ctrl-Z

    This is so dumb. It's like someone finding a burnt piece of toast that resembles the devil and then accusing Wonder Bread of being Satanists. A discussion of this level is better suited for the National Enquirer or Fox News.

  • archi

    At first I thought the design was pretty "meh". But after reading that a whole bunch of right wing Americans are offended by it, I now think they should go full steam ahead with it.

  • Clark

    if those people thought that MVRDV tried to build a building resembling the 9/11,why don't they put a BIG writing of AMERICAN AIRLINES on the front of the building then? I agree the building is just average,but people should grow up,especially those U.S citizens for being over sensitive.