Wooden skyscrapers and an increase in popularity

  • This multi-use cultural centre in Sweden will be completed in 2019. Image credit: White Arkitekter
  • This is FRAMEWORK, the impressive 11-story building that will break ground later this year. Image credit: LEVER Architecture
  • HAUT, a 21-storey residential building that will be erected by the River Amstel in Amsterdam. Image credit: Team V architecture
Date:8 June 2017 Author: Nikky Knijf Tags:, ,

Wooden buildings – and wooden skyscrapers in particular – are nothing new. From the tall pagodas built in South Asia to the tall mines in north America, it’s suffice to say they’ve been around for some time. But modern popularity in wooden structures has architects around the world looking at new ways to build tall wooden buildings.

Right now there’s a number of tall wooden buildings concepts coming to fruition across the globe – and America has just joined the party. Here’s America’s first and two other notable wooden skyscrapers:

FRAMEWORK, Portalnd

The first of America's wooden skyscrapers is FRAMEWORK

Designed by LEVER Architecture, the 11-story office block called FRAMEWORK will be erected in Portland Oregon later this year. The building’s name touches on the state’s hope to reboot the timber industry.

Associated Press reports that the building’s developers with scientists from Portland State University to ensure the materials meet all the state’s building and fire safety codes.

And it’s even earthquake-proof. The technology behind the building is called cross-laminated timber. This means each wood panel consists of three, five or seven layers of wood with a standardised size. This is also called dimensional lumber and is mostly used when framing wooden buildings. Dimensional lumber has been tried and tested for centuries, with its roots in ancient China. Back then the lumber was standardised to eight layers.

HAUT, Amsterdam

HAUT, the tallest of the wooden skyscrapers

Construction is set to begin on a 73-metre residential wooden skyscraper in Amsterdam this year. The building was designed by Team V Architecture.

And the name? Although HAUT might seem like a European version of the Afrikaans word hout, it actually refers to “haute couture”, or tailor-made architecture.

Cultural Centre, Skellefteå

First of Sweden's wooden skyscrapers is a cultural centre.

This cultural centre hopes to be completed in 2019 following a similar timeline to HAUT’s construction. The centre is also taller than it’s residential counterpart, exceeding it height by three metres.

White Arkitekter designed this cultural centre to house a variety of visual arts, including a public library and hotel. For the project the architects consulted experts from the local timber industry. The architecture firm says the city has acclaimed timber-built architecture and it was important to harness local knowledge.

Future wooden skyscrapers

These are some notable wooden skyscrapers that are about to or currently being built. The list of planned, conceptual and proposed buildings is very long. Here are some to look out for:

– The proposed skyline of Wood Skyscrapers in Stockholm by Anders Berensson Architects.

– The 80-story skyscraper planned for London, that hopes to be the city’s second tallest building.

– Michael Green Architecture’s proposals for a series of tall wooden buildings in Paris.

It seems to use that wood is the new En Vogue medium and height is the new big challenge, which is quite exciting.