The alleged copycat design for the riverside Viman Pra In building has been quickly yanked from the riverside revamp project amid widespread accusations that the design was a copy of Russia’s Crystal Island Tower.
Those pointing out the similarities between the two buildings included Thailand’s star architect Duangrit Bunnag, who we interviewed about the controversy.
The architects from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, who submitted the design, have removed what was supposed to be the signature building in the government’s riverside promenade project.
They denied the design being a copycat, but the fact that they didn’t stand by it doesn’t say great things about the team.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sakul Hovanotayan, head of the design team, has claimed that his team is innocent and didn’t copy the design of the tower in Russia, designed by Norman Foster. He also went on to say that the Viman Pra In design had also drawn comparisons to a similar building in front of the train station in Nagoya, Japan.
Assoc. Prof. Antika Sawatsri, the team’s spokesperson, said that her group pulled the design only to end the controversy while insisting that the team did not model the proposed Viman Pra In after Foster’s famous design, reported Thai News Bureau.
No word yet on whether the King Mongkut team will remain on the project, be allowed to submit a new proposal or be asked to refund their design fee.