Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Tall & Green: Seoul
2011, Illinois Institute of Technology, Professor Antony Wood

Tall buildings have a tremendous opportunity to become an influential typology for a sustainable urban future – focused centers of live, work and play with innovative forms, technologies and environments to face the challenges of the future climate-changed world. This potential typology should be inspired by the cultural and vernacular traditions of the location in order to maintain the cultural integrity and continuity of any urban domain.

This studio explores the themes outlined above to find alternative design approaches for tall buildings and create high-rise buildings that are inspired by the cultural, physical and environmental aspects of place. The site for this studio is the location of a high-rise project being developed by Daelim Construction in the Seoul Forest district of the South Korean capital, not far from the Han River. The studio was generously sponsored by Daelim Construction.

Seoul Studio Site Visit

Chiyuei Nong-won (Agricultural Rehabilitation Tower)
Jennifer Lee & Rodrigo Garcia
In 2009 South Korea was ranked #1 for mental health issues, and by 2040 there will be less than 1% arable farmland in South Korea. These combined facts informed this design, which acts as a combined vertical farm and mental health rehabilitating facility.

  Gyoyook Tower (Education Tower)
Kevin Ford & Stevie Brummer
Korea has the highest teen suicide rate globally, and this project raises a question to its current education system. This statistic is increasingly being tied to the pressure children are under in the nation's schools, causing many Korean parents to look for alternative educations for their children.

Hana Tower (Reunification Tower)
Andres Lemus & Louis Fernandez
The number of people defecting to South from North Korea has risen from 9 people in 1990, to 148 in 2000, to 2,952 people in 2010. The Reunification Tower provides facilities for a number of evolving scenarios in the reunification of North and South Korean defectors and looks at the possibility of a unified Korea.

  Noin Tap (Elderly Tower)
Matthew Abbott& Ryan Bloom

The structure of the South Korean living pattern is undergoing change: single family homes are replacing traditional three-generation homes, forcing elderly people to live alone. This project seeks to provide a vertical residential community for this increasing sector of society.

Sujik Seoshikji Tower (Vertical Habitat Tower)
Nico Sanchez & Kelly Castellano
4.75 million liters of water are treated daily by Arisu waterworks throughout Seoul. This project investigates water reuse to create a vertical habitat which houses both traditional programs of hotel space and natural habitat.

  Euiryo Gwan-gwang Tower (Medical TourismTower)
Sha Liu & Jie Zhao
In 2011, 140,000 tourists will travel to Korea for medical surgery, a large percentage of which will be cosmetic operations. This is predicted to increase three-fold over the next few years. This growing trend serves as the conceptual motivation for this project.