Proposed South Korean Towers Bear An Odd Resemblence To….

Well, you can probably figure it out for yourself:

Via John Rosenthal, who has the details

Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. carpeicthus says:

    … wow.

  2. Fausta says:

    Surely this can not be in the “good Feng Shui” book.

  3. Michelle says:

    This is ridiculous. It’s supposed to be clouds not smoke. It’s not all about the US and the wingnuts’ tender sensibilities all the time.

    This reminds me of the time wingnuts freaked out over the lower part of the “e” in Google being a scary Muslim crescent.

  4. @Michelle:

    It’s not that hard to see the visual similarity. Even you see it, because you wouldn’t be trying to dismiss it otherwise.

    In any event, whatever it’s supposed to look like I must say it looks like it would be the ugliest piece of architecture on the planet

  5. Vast Variety says:

    I like the idea of the towers being interconnected but I agree it’s an ugly couple of buildings.

  6. Michelle says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Doug, I’m dismissing it but this is utterly ridiculous. Did you even see what I compared it to? It’s always the same people getting all worked up over the same type thing.

    It’s happened before. It will happen again. People can be terribly silly.

  7. Michelle says:

    ack — “but” should be “because” in my comments.

  8. Graham says:

    I must disagree with the consensus here. Apart from the obvious resemblance to we-all-know-what, it’s actually a pretty cool looking building.

  9. @Doug Mataconis: I think you’re missing Michelle’s underlying point, Doug. Her point is not to dismiss the idea of a resemblance; her point is to say, Even if there is a resemblance, who cares? It’s not all about the U.S. and our tender sensibilities. There’s no copyright on the architectural design concept of two extremely tall, slender towers.

    If this is not your underlying point, Michelle, please accept my apologies.

  10. I’m not saying anything about copyright.

    I am saying that it seems like a bit of an inappropriate design. And, more importantly, as I said, it is the ugliest proposed skyscraper I’ve seen in quite some time.

  11. @Doug Mataconis:

    I’m not saying anything about copyright.

    You’re kidding, right? I wasn’t using copyright in a literal sense, Doug. I know the Twin Towers did not apply for a copyright, Doug.

    I am saying that it seems like a bit of an inappropriate design.

    Why? Do you think Americans have a moral copyright (adjective inserted so you know I’m using the word copyright in a metaphorical sense) on the architectural design concept of two very tall, slim skyscraper towers?

    And, more importantly, as I said, it is the ugliest proposed skyscraper I’ve seen in quite some time.

    No, actually that’s the less important point. I assume you wouldn’t be making such a fuss over this if the South Korean building design did not resemble the Twin Towers.

  12. Michelle says:

    Even you see it, because you wouldn’t be trying to dismiss it otherwise

    I’m dismissing it BECAUSE it is silly to get all worked up over it, not because I “see” what you and others want me and others to see.

    You know, having blogged for a while, that the wingnuts are looking for ANYTHING to get worked up about.

    You tried something semantically that is more than just a little dishonest. My link again to the crazy people and Google.

    The google thing made it onto my local hate radio stations. This would too if not for the holidays. It well may still, but you’ve got it covered, no?

    It’s a cloud, Doug. Not smoke.

  13. Anthony says:

    I’m in a slightly odd position here.

    1) Without any broader context or association, I actually think it looks fantastic. It’s ugly and mad and altogether brilliant.

    2) More broadly, however, I’m inclined to agree with Doug.


    3) Surely the point is not so much that it resembles the Twin Towers so much as it resembles the Twin Towers in the process of being destroyed by having planes flown into them. I’m not American and the association hit me like a sledgehammer.

  14. Victor Erimita says:

    @Michelle: The fact the architect of the building said in Korean that they meant it to resembled the Twin Towers explosion is irrelevant. Anyone who disagrees is a “wingnut.” Facts don’t matter to the Good and Smart people.

  15. Roy Rogers says:

    Well Gee Whiz! I guess it’s time we dusted off the “mushroom shaped cloud”, and the “crucifix” office building designs since it’s not about “sensitivities.”

  16. Roy Rogers says:

    Michelle says:

    It’s a cloud, Doug. Not smoke.


  17. russ in nc says:

    Two things: First, it is about us and our sensibilities. How many US Army, Marines and Air Force warriors died to protect these ungrateful yellow vermin from the fate of their Northern kin? Too damn many is the answer. And second, once they are built I’d be in favor of sending a couple of Korean Air 747 into those ugly monstrosities.

  18. @russ in nc:

    Thos same warriors died to protect your right to use race as a catalyst to your frustration. You go so far as to wish replicated terror upon innocent people linked by nation or skin-color. “Ugly American” does not go far enough. I am honored live in a country that protects the likes of you.

  19. bill says:

    @russ in nc: Walk into the light Russ.

  20. @Victor Erimita:

    Where and when did he say that? Is there a link somewhere?

  21. @russ in nc:

    Maybe because they don’t like being called “yellow vermin”?

  22. JJ Jones says:

    Michelle embodies today Democrat to a tee.

  23. JJ Jones says:


  24. @Trevor Andalusia:

    Well said, Trevor.

  25. Tim says:

    @Kathy, it’s clearly mentioned in the original article from John Rosenthal. Jan Knikker, from the architectural design firm who came up with this idea told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, “I have to admit that we also thought of the 9/11 attacks.” The company is now, however, trying to backtrack on those comments.

  26. Jeff Mitchell says:

    And here I thought it was the new Lego headquarters.

    You guys must really have fun with rorschach inkblots. My first impression was twin towers, but that was deflated by the ugly stuff inbetween, so I discarded the idea. It had to be explained before I saw the controversy.

    My problem is, if that is really the idea behind the design, why would anyone build a building people would naturally want to fly a plane into?


  27. Franklin says:

    Actually I’m with Anthony here. It is kind of cool and crazy. But once I saw the Twin Tower similarity (which was *not* my first impression), yes it seems inappropriate whether it is intentional or not.

  28. Michelle says:

    @JJ Jones:

    And russ embodies the typical wingnut, as do all who have no problem with his remarks, and yet vote down mine.

    Translation: racism is ok, but calling people what they really are, not acceptable.

  29. annoyamouse says:

    Ok, this structure was designed in the vein of the 9/11 bombings of the twin towers. Who’s to say it isn’t a tribute? I don’t see any indication of malice against America in this design.

  30. Doriangrey says:


    Typical liberal progressive, no more capable of admitting that you are wrong about conservatives than you are about admitting that you were wrong about these buildings.

  31. rspeicher says:

    @russ in nc:

    Very funny moby. Now get on back to DKos before your feelings get hurt.

  32. DrZin says:

    Well, I guess we can go ahead with the proposed convention center made to recall a Japanese military doctor vivisecting a live Korean infant . . .it’s not about them, don’t you know.

  33. Herk says:

    The issue is that it is an unoriginal design. To take something everyone on the planet has already seen and pass it off as architectural originality is idiotic.

    Remember “cubists” drew/painted that way because people are hard to draw/paint.

    This all shows a lack of talent and originality. A cheap knock-off.

  34. Karl Magnus says:

    Fausta says:
    Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 12:51

    Surely this can not be in the “good Feng Shui” book.

    Maybe it says:
    “Hey! Leave us alone, we’ve already been hit!”
    Or … maybe not. Just a Thawt

  35. Kitty says:

    Withdraw the free trade agreement and the Demilitarized Zone and let North Korea have at it. These are not allies.

  36. An Interested Party says:

    Very funny moby. Now get on back to DKos before your feelings get hurt.

    Actually, the ranting of russ in nc seems like the work of someone from Red State rather than DKos…much like…

    Withdraw the free trade agreement and the Demilitarized Zone and let North Korea have at it. These are not allies.

  37. MarkedMan says:

    What’s going on with the “Helpful or Unhelpful” votes? Has someone figured out how to vote fifty times or something?

  38. Rob in CT says:

    My main reaction is that they’re ugly.

  39. Michelle says:

    @Doug Mataconis: This is how you run your blog. Good to know.

    It’s ok and you don’t chime in when someone is blatantly racist, but cancelling out my reply to you and Kathy’s, that’s ok!

    Cancelling out russ took way too long.

  40. Michelle says:

    @Doriangrey: Dorian, did you get all work up about the “e” in Google lat Veterans Day? If so, you are nothing more than another chairborne fighter wannbe that everyone knows now on the intertubes.

    Thanks for playing.

  41. @Tim:

    Okay. I still think the outrage is misplaced (at best). It’s unfortunate, imo, that the architect felt it necessary first to lie and then to get defensive. He did nothing wrong.

  42. Michelle says:

    That they thought about it just means they considered it.

    OMG — they meant it to be clouds.

    Just clouds.

  43. DrZin says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg:

    There’s nothing wrong with using the violent deaths of 3000 Americans in a barbaric terrorist attack as a commercial tableau? It’s not at least disrespectful?

    Sounds to me like your thoughts are inspired more by contempt for the United States than an actual ethical formulation. At the very least it seems as though you hold the collective feelings of foreign peoples as a much higher priority than those of the Americans, going even so far as to assure them than no offense against the U.S. should be accompanied by consequent feelings of guilt.

  44. Will Ayles says:

    Doug, do you see any point in arguing with the people who disagree with you when all of your little fans dislike their comments and render them invisible before anyone else can even see them?