Korean architect sues SOM over One World Trade Centre design

Korean-born architect Jeehoon Park is suing giant Chicago architect Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) over the design of the One World Trade Centre (1 WTC) in New York.

Jeehoon Park, the president of Qube Architecture, which is based in the US state of Georgia, says SOM copied his designs for the Cityfront ’99 scheme, which he produced while studying for a master’s degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Park is seeking unspecified damages and a credit for the design of the 1 WTC.

Cityfront ’99 contains an inverted triangular glass facade that bears a similarity to SOM’s building. Park say that his thesis adviser is now working for SOM and that his design was on display in the lobby of the Illinois Institute of Technology.

In addition, Cityfront ’99 was featured in the 2006 film "The Lake House", which also included footage shot in a Chicago building where SOM had an office.

Reuters quotes a lawyer for Park as saying: "He just wants to be treated fairly. Our client frankly didn’t know what his legal rights were until he came to us. We believe we are well within any statutes of limitations and that the wrongful conduct is ongoing"

Completed in 2013, the 1 WTC is built on the site of the 9/11 terror attacks; it is the tallest building in the Western hemisphere and the sixth-tallest in the world.

Image: One World Trade Centre (Wikimedia Commons/Joe Mabel)

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  1. I have just graduated with a BSc hons in Quantity Surveying. During the course all work produced was the property of the university.

    It is likely the same applies in the US. A credit should be applied if it is indeed his work but surely seeking damages is too much. The work he could possibly gain on the back of his design will surely provide him with a bright future.

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