London’s first timber skyscraper could be a step closer to reality this week after researchers presented Mayor of London Boris Johnson with conceptual plans for an 80-storey, 300m high wooden building integrated within the Barbican.
If London is going to survive it needs to increasingly densify. One way is taller buildings. We believe people have a greater affinity for taller buildings in natural materials rather than steel and concrete towers.
Researchers from Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture are working with PLP Architecture and engineers Smith and Wallwork on the future development of tall timber buildings in central London.
The use of timber as a structural material in tall buildings is an area of emerging interest for its variety of potential benefits; the most obvious being that it is a renewable resource, unlike prevailing construction methods which use concrete and steel. The research is also investigating other potential benefits, such as reduced costs and improved construction timescales, increased fire resistance, and significant reduction in the overall weight of buildings.
The conceptual proposals currently being developed would create over 1,000 new residential units in a 1 million sq ft mixed-use tower and mid-rise terraces in central London, integrated within the Barbican.
Dr Michael Ramage, Director of Cambridge’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation, said: “The Barbican was designed in the middle of the last century to bring residential living into the city of London – and it was successful. We’ve put our proposals on the Barbican as a way to imagine what the future of construction could look like in the 21st century.
“If London is going to survive it needs to increasingly densify. One way is taller buildings. We believe people have a greater affinity for taller buildings in natural materials rather than steel and concrete towers. The fundamental premise is that timber and other natural materials are vastly underused and we don’t give them nearly enough credit. Nearly every historic building, from King’s College Chapel to Westminster Hall, has made extensive use of timber.”
Kevin Flanagan, Partner at PLP Architecture said “We now live predominantly in cities and so the proposals have been designed to improve our wellbeing in an urban context. Timber buildings have the potential architecturally to create a more pleasing, relaxed, sociable and creative urban experience.
“Our firm is currently designing many of London’s tall buildings, and the use of timber could transform the way we build in this city. We are excited to be working with the University and with Smith and Wallwork on this ground breaking design- and engineering-based research.”
The tall timber buildings research also looks towards creating new design potentials with timber buildings, rather than simply copying the forms of steel and concrete construction. The transition to timber construction may have a wider positive impact on urban environments and built form, and offers opportunities not only to rethink the aesthetics of buildings, but also the structural methodologies informing their design as well.
Just as major innovations in steel, glass and concrete revolutionised buildings in the 19th and 20th centuries, creating Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace and the Parisian arcades described by Walter Benjamin, innovations in timber construction could lead to entirely new experiences of the city in the 21st century.
The type of wood these new buildings would use is regarded as a ‘crop’. The amount of crop forest in the world is currently expanding. Canada alone could produce more than 15billion m³ of crop forest in the next 70 years, enough to house around a billion people.
At present, the world’s tallest timber building is a 14-storey apartment block in Bergen, Norway. The proposals presented to Johnson included concepts for a timber tower nearly 300m high, which would make it the second tallest building in London after The Shard.
Dr Ramage added: “We’ve designed the architecture and engineering and demonstrated it will stand, but this is at a scale no one has attempted to build before. We are developing a new understanding of primary challenges in structure and construction. There is a lot of work ahead, but we are confident of meeting all the challenges before us.”
Perhaps the most obvious concern for potential residents of homes built primarily from timber is fire risk. However, the team involved in the project said the proposed building would eventually meet or exceed every existing fire regulation currently in place for steel and concrete buildings.
Recent research has also shown that timber buildings can have positive effects on their user and occupant’s health. Some recent studies have also shown that children taught in schools with timber structures may perform better than in those made of concrete.
The designs for the Barbican is the first in a series of timber skyscrapers developed by Cambridge University in association with globally renowned architects and structural engineers with funding from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The Latest on: Timber skyscrapers
via Google News
The Latest on: Timber skyscrapers
Norwegian wood: Voll Arkitekter tower named world’s tallest timber building
on May 23, 2019 at 8:12 am
PLUS The architects who ... This subscription package has been designed to help architects thrive in the workplace by providing them with their essential 5 a day - news, buildings, business, culture ... […]
Love architecture? Here are 6 must-visit buildings across Canada
on May 23, 2019 at 7:00 am
If you’re a lover of majestic, unique, and beautiful buildings, here’s a list of ... concrete — but it included inspiration from the timber architecture of the Northwest Coast First Nations ... […]
Glass skyscrapers: an environmental folly that could have been avoided
on May 20, 2019 at 6:38 pm
Preventing overheating in glass buildings has proven enormously difficult – even ... drawing on his experience constructing timber-framed glasshouses. Though recognised as a risky idea at the time, ... […]
Rehab center made taller to protect wetlands on Hutchinson Island
on May 20, 2019 at 1:15 pm
Construction crewmen from York Bridge Concepts work on a 267-foot timber vehicular bridge on Tuesday ... land they had left to work with," Grande said. The facility's four buildings, Grande said, "are ... […]
New mass timber building in Des Moines is the nation's first
on May 19, 2019 at 6:19 am
There are about 200 mass timber buildings across 36 states, but the Des Moines building was the first to use the dowel-laminated product. Each panel of mass timber is about 8 feet wide and 20 feet ... […]
How glass skyscrapers took over the world–and why we need to stop building them
on May 17, 2019 at 9:57 am
Preventing overheating in glass buildings has proven enormously difficult–even in ... drawing on his experience constructing timber-framed glasshouses. Though recognized as a risky idea at the time, ... […]
Sustainable cities can’t rely on concrete. Let's try algorithmically designed timber buildings
on May 16, 2019 at 9:07 am
Construction relies heavily on cement, the production of which is responsible for approximately 8 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Architect Gilles Retsin suggests that we should look ... […]
World's tallest hybrid timber tower planned for Canada
on May 16, 2019 at 5:36 am
As tall timber construction continues to grow in ... As a part of the CaGBC (Canada Green Building Council) Zero Carbon Buildings Pilot program, Canada's Earth Tower will be a zero emissions ... […]
Glass skyscrapers: a great environmental folly that could have been avoided
on May 14, 2019 at 5:46 am
Preventing overheating in glass buildings has proven enormously difficult ... drawing on his experience constructing timber-framed glasshouses. Though recognised as a risky idea at the time ... […]
Cost estimates for Middlemore Hospital's leaky buildings balloons
on May 13, 2019 at 11:56 am
Those timber frames have been rotting for at least a decade ... said the rise in indicative costs was "quite high". "But leaky buildings are notoriously difficult to scope, it's difficult to ... […]
via Bing News