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
- House Tackles Building Efficiency for Climate Fighton October 17, 2019 at 10:44 am
Landreneau said any type of new incentive to help states get to the newest code would be progress. Adopting the 2021 code, which has removed barriers for tall timber construction that allows for ...
- England's oldest surviving timber trestle bridge and a military complex built during the Napoleonic Wars among heritage sites now at riskon October 16, 2019 at 10:10 pm
England's oldest surviving timber trestle bridge, a 19th century lighthouse and ... decay and inappropriate development. It also highlights the buildings and sites which have been saved, with new uses ...
- OSU’s new research lab studies buildings made of mass timberon October 15, 2019 at 6:47 pm
CORVALLIS — A new facility dedicated to researching and testing mass timber in commercial buildings is now open at Oregon State University. OSU celebrated the grand opening of the A.A. “Red” Emmerson ...
- Local energy company building efficient headquarters with low carbon footprinton October 15, 2019 at 5:45 pm
Cross-laminated timber is constructed in a way that’s similar to plywood ... Currently, the company leases space across three different buildings in Charlottesville. “When the company began as ...
- Australia and New Zealand Cross Laminated Timber Market Report, Industry Overview, Growth Rate and Forecast 2024on October 15, 2019 at 5:49 am
For instance, Tasmania has adopted a state-wide Wood Encouragement Policy (WEP), whereas, the Rotorua Lakes Council in New Zealand is encouraging the use of natural timber-based products in ...
- European consortium forms to “take multi-storey timber mainstream”on October 15, 2019 at 5:48 am
Armed with €10m in EU funding, a consortium of 21 European companies and organisations has formed to try and make timber the material of choice for multi-storey buildings instead of steel and concrete ...
- Research team targets use of timber for multi-storey buildingson October 15, 2019 at 12:35 am
2 days A London-based architect is the only UK partner in a new €8.6m (£7.5m) EU research project aiming to develop a kit of parts for use in tall timber buildings. Waugh Thistleton Architects is ...
- The rise and fall of Rift Valley's timber and railway line townson October 13, 2019 at 2:00 pm
This has seen the rise of centres such as Total, Salgaa, Barnabas and Kikopey. Buildings at Total are changing from semi-permanent timber houses to permanent ones as investors take advantage of the ...
- Conference says buildings as high as 12 stories can be built with wood, helping loggers and the climateon October 11, 2019 at 12:54 pm
“This is back to the future,” is how Joe Short, vice president of Northern Forest Center, put it at the start of a conference Friday discussing mass timber, which uses wood to replace steel and ...
- RISD leans into timber for its first new residence hall in 34 yearson October 9, 2019 at 1:37 pm
The building’s structure, a cross-laminated timber (CLT) and steel-frame hybrid ... NADAAA was responsible for the 2017 master plan for the quad as well, which will link the various buildings along ...
via Bing News