The architects behind two skyscrapers criticised by 9/11 families for resembling the World Trade Centre exploding during the attacks have apologised over the design.
The twin towers in the South Korean capital Seoul are set to be connected half-way up by a cloud-shaped section with facilities including lounges, a swimming pool and restaurants.
But families of the 2001 terror attack victims said it resembles the clouds of debris that billowed from the WTC after hijacked planes crashed into them.
Critics say the cloud section resembles the 9/11 atrocity
The Dutch architectural company MVRDV said it was not its intention to create an image that evoked the atrocity in New York 10 years ago.
It said it “sincerely” apologised to anyone whose feelings it has hurt and “regrets deeply” any painful connotations.
But Jim Riches, a retired deputy fire chief whose son was killed on 9/11, said he did not believe the architects.
The New York Daily News quoted him as saying: “It looks just like the towers imploding. I think they’re trying to sensationalise it. It’s a cheap way to get publicity.”
The skyscrapers will be built at the entrance to Seoul’s redeveloped Yongsan business district by 2016.
It is not known whether MVRDV will change the design – but a South Korean developer said it would not be altered.
“Allegations that it (the design) was inspired by the 9/11 attacks are groundless,” said White Paik, a spokesman for the Yongsan Development Corporation.
“There will be no revision or change in our project,” he said, adding that construction would begin in January 2013 as scheduled.
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