Noin Tap (Elderly Tower) – CTBUH International Highrise Competition

21 Oct

In the final semester of architecture school, Matthew Abbott and Ryan Bloom participated in a traveling studio (Tall and Green: Seoul) sponsored by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) based in Seoul, South Korea.  The design studio’s goal was to design a high rise based around a particular issue plaguing Seoul.

After spending 8 days in Seoul with the class and professor, Matt and Ryan determined that their highrise solution would address the aging population of South Korea and the many issues surrounding the topic.  Challenging the norms of highrise design, Noin Tap focused on the needs of the Korean elderly, innovative ideas in structure and experience, and more.

Recently, Matt and Ryan’s design was shortlisted in the CTBUH “Why Tall?” International Design Competition that concluded on October 12th, 2011 at the CTBUH National Conference in Seoul, South Korea, where their work was on display.  Their work can be viewed below as well as on the CTBUH website ( under Tall Buildings Academic and Student Work.

Noin Tap (Elderly Tower) Competition Entry

“By 2050, over 40% of South Korea’s population will be over the age of 65.”

The “Elderly Tower” seeks to provide a haven for the growing societal sector of elderly Seoulites who now live apart from their families. The project seeks to accommodate many of the activities enjoyed by the elderly in an environment which rethinks the traditional high-rise typology, and especially the popular Korean recreational pursuit of trekking on mountain paths – via a mountain path route which winds around and within the complex.

Building Agenda

– to create a vertical residential community for older people, bound together by a program of recreational and leisure pursuits

– to bring the most popular leisure activity for older Seoulites – trekking in the mountains – into the city through the creation of a “mountain path” within the new complex

– to make this mountain path a public route and so extend the public park that is Seoul Forest into the vertical realm, and create engagement between the public and the elderly residents of the towers

– to create a series of public functions on this route but ensure a sensible division of public and private routes and space within the scheme

– to create a series of significant, open green spaces in the complex for recreational purposes and to bring nature up into the sky

– to create a unique living experience for the elderly, in both the arrangement of living and guest accommodation, and the other programs in the building

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