Architectural firm called “Al Qaeda lovers” over new project’s resemblance to New York City’s Twin Towers under attack

MVRDV, an architectural firm located in Rotterdam, Netherlands, has recently become the target of an outraged public. The company’s new luxury highrise project in Seoul, South Korea, called “The Cloud”, is being said to resemble New York City’s Twin Towers during the tragic 9/11 attacks. Not only have many of the media outlets and public turned against the company, but they are receiving threatening letters and are being called “Al Qaeda lovers”, among other names.

On the MVRDV Facebook page, the company has issued an explanation and apology to the public:

“MVRDV regrets deeply any connotations The Cloud projects evokes regarding 9/11, it was not our intention. The Cloud was designed based on parameters such as sunlight, outside spaces, living quality for inhabitants and the city. It is one of many projects in which MVRDV experiments with a raised city level to reinvent the often solitary typology of the skyscraper. It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt, the design was not meant to provoke this.”

On a their Facebook page under the photo shown here, the debate has gotten heated, with over 600 comments and over 100 shares. While some feel strongly that the design is beautiful and a common design framework there are others who are arguing that it is ugly, disgraceful, and that the architects weren’t thinking (along with an overwhelming amount of obcenities and name-calling). What are your thoughts?

New restaurant in Mexico City combines unique architecture and experiential dining

Tori-Tori, a new Japanese restaurant located in Polanco in Mexico City, Mexico, has recently finished completion. The project began in 2009 as a joint venture between the Mexico-based firm rojkind arquitectos and the design company Esrawe Studio, with the aim to create a unique contemporary space.

While the restaurant serves Japanese cuisine, the ambiance is more cosmopolitan than many other Japanese restaurants on the market. Imagine an interior full of open spaces, a bar, and terraces that always keep the guest close to natural vegetation.

The inside is actually an extension of the outside, where the facade seems to grow organically from the ground in a mass of steel ivy. You can see through to the restaurant and vice versa, and the pattern on Tori-Tori’s outside controls the ambiance on the inside by filtering light, shadows, and views.

As for the food, guests can expect an array of options, including salads, curries, pastas, fish dishes, beef, chicken, sushi, sashimi, nigri, and more. For more information, click here. Or, to get a better idea of the design of Tori-Tori, check out the gallery below. All photos are courtesy of photographer Paúl Rivera.


Biblical bridge allows pedestrians to “walk through water” like Moses

Parting the sea is no longer a feat held just for saints and those with higher powers. Thanks to a new and innovative creation by RO & AD Architects, anyone can walk through water, just like Moses did when he parted the Red Sea.

The Moses Bridge is located in the Netherlands and gives people access to Fort de Roover, an old Dutch Fortress from the 17th century. What makes this bridge unique is the fact that the walkway that would usually go over the water is actually built under the water, making it appear as though individuals walking over it are actually “parting the sea”. Don’t worry, you’ll stay dry as the sides of the bridge extend high enough to keep the water off the footpath.

To make the project even better, the bridge is made of sustainable materials like Accoya wood, a highly durable wood that is treated with nontoxic anti-fungal coating.

On the RO & AD Architects website, the designers talk about the theory that goes into their visionary projects, stating, “We like to be aware of the consequences of our actions, which means we think about the long term effects. Also, we try to feed our practice from a theoretical background. Our theory ‘Evolution as a Strategy for Spatial Design’ is an attempt to set off a radical change in thinking about building and environmental planning, leading to a more sustainable kind of spatial development.”

To get a better idea of how the Moses Bridge works and what it looks like to cross it, check out this video: