Vienna to Build World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper

© OLN/office le nomade

Rüdiger Lainer and Partner plans to construct the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper next year in Vienna’s Seestadt Aspern area. 76 percent of the 84-meter tower is expected to be made from wood rather than concrete, saving approximately 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions (equivalent to driving a car 25 miles a day for 1,300 years).

“I think it is important everyone now in 2014 thinks in different ways. We have wood, which is a perfect material for building,” she said. “It was used 200 years ago and it was perfect then and is perfect now,” says Kerbler project developer Caroline Palfy, commenting on the architects’ decision to use wood due to its environmental benefits.

An interior loft view and more details, after the break. 

Solid Wood: The Rise of Mass Timber Architecture

Courtesy of Routledge

Largely overlooked in the development of Modernism, timber architecture is making a comeback in the 21st century with the success of designers such as last year’s Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, and the push toward timber towers from large influential firms such as SOM. In the following extract, author Joseph Mayo introduces his new book,Solid Wood: Case Studies in Mass Timber Architecture, Technology and Design,” which examines the rise of mass timber design through historical analysis and contemporary case studies.

Few books have addressed the use of wood in large, non-residential buildings. While light frame construction and residential resources are common, little has been written about the use of in taller, urban, commercial and institutional buildings. Solid Wood presents a survey of new timber architecture around the world to reveal this construction type’s unique appeal and potential. Not surprisingly, enthusiasm for solid wood architecture (also known as mass timber architecture) and engineering is now growing rapidly among a new generation of architects and designers.

Wood Design & Building Magazine Announces Winners of its 2014 Wood Awards

Aspen Art Museum (Aspen, CO) Shigeru Ban Architects. Image © Michael Moran/OTTO

Wood Design and Building Magazine has announced the winners of its 2014 Wood Awards. Run in partnership with the Canadian Wood Council, this year the awards included for the first time an international awards category in addition to the North America awards. With 166 submissions, the 24 awarded projects were selected by a jury consisting of Larry McFarland (Principle, McFarland Marceau Architects), Brigitte Shim (Principle, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects) and Keith Boswell (Technical Partner, SOM).

“The Wood Design Awards showcases exceptional wood buildings that not only display the unique qualities of wood, but also serve to inspire other designers who may not initially think of wood as the material of choice,” said Theresa Rogers, Editor of Wood Design & Building magazine. “The calibre of projects submitted displayed a mature sense of design that either paid homage to older building techniques or completely reinvented the conventional way of thinking about building envelope and design,” added Etienne Lalonde, the Canadian Wood Council’s Vice-President of Market Development.

See the full awards list after the break.

2015 Wood Design Award Winners Announced

Burr Burton Academy Mountain Campus / Bensonwood + Annette Dey, PE  © Marvin Windows

The 2015 winners of the Wood Design Awards have been announced at the Bay Area Wood Solutions Fair in Oakland, California. Presented by WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, the awards seek to “recognize extraordinary buildings that exemplify not only wood’s beauty, but the versatility and structural performance attributes that make it such an interesting material to architects and engineers.”

The celebrate excellence in nine categories at both regional and national levels. See the winning designs for 2015 after the break.

Hello Wood’s Budapest “Charity Tree” Built from 5,000 Logs

© Dániel Dömölky

Made from 5,000 pieces of firewood, Hello Wood’s “Charity Tree” stretches 11 meters high, 4.5 meters wide and weighs 150 quintals (15,000 kilograms).  Hello worked with Design Terminal and the Hungarian Interchurch Aid to build the tree in one of Budapest’s central squares, and all of the firewood used in the temporary installation will be given to families in need in January.

Olson Kundig Repurpose “38 Beams” as Design Miami/ Collectors Lounge

© James Harris

Early this month at Design Miami/, Olson Kundig Architects celebrated the opening of “38 Beams,” a temporary collectors lounge named after the thirty-eight salvaged glulam beams that made up the structure. Originally milled in the 1950s, the Northwestern Douglas fir beams were once used to construct a Los Angeles building before being repurposed.

Approximately 15×30 inches around and up to 30 feet in length, 38 Beams formed a 2,400-square-foot lounge with an open lattice-work stacked 15-feet-high. The focal point of the space was a 28-foot Perrier-Jouët champagne bar lit by a chandelier of one hundred suspended light tubes designed by LILIENTHAL l ZAMORA.

More about the structure and images, after the break. 

Roundup: 5 Recent Buildings Inspired by Wood

Maggie’s Oxford / Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Image © Wilkinson Eyre Architects

It may be the world’s second oldest construction material, but wood is still one of the most versatile and inspiring available to architects today, coveted as both a structural material and as a finish on walls, floors, ceilings and facades. In recent years it’s even seen a resurgence in popularity, thanks to its sustainability credentials and its increasingly popular “natural” feel. With all this in mind, ArchDaily Materials has rounded up five recent projects that prove innovation in wood is still alive and well in the architectural world: Wilkinson Eyre Architects’ Maggie’s Oxford; Shigeru Ban’s Aspen Art Museum; Pushed Slab by MVRDV; MARGEN-LAB’s Endesa World Fab Condenser; and finally a forthcoming building that is notable for its ambitious wooden design, the Sleuk Rith Institute by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Material Masters: Shigeru Ban’s Work With Wood

To celebrate the first anniversary of our US Materials Catalog, this week ArchDaily is presenting a three-part series on “Material Masters,” showing how certain materials have helped to inspire some of the world’s greatest architects.

Shigeru Ban’s portfolio is a strange dichotomy, split between shelters for natural disaster refugees and museums commissioned by wealthy patrons of the arts. Even stranger is the fact that, in both cases, Ban’s material palette frequently incorporates recycled cardboard, paper, and old beer crates. The Pritzker prize laureate is unique in this regard, and so great is his predilection for recycled paper tubes (originally formwork for concrete columns), that he has become known as the “Paper Architect.” His work receives media attention worldwide for the unorthodoxy of its construction materials. Yet Shigeru Ban is not concerned with unorthodoxy, but with economy. It is for this reason that, when paper tubes are deemed unsuitable, Shigeru Ban constructs his buildings in . Inspired by the architectural tradition of his native Japan, Ban is not only the “Paper Architect,” but also one of the most famous architects working in wood today.

AD Interviews: Benton Johnson / SOM

Inside the Wood Pavilion at this year’s AIA Convention, we had the chance to chat with Benton Johnson of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) about SOM’s research on using wood for highrise buildings. Although wood is a sustainable and efficient material, it hasn’t entered the world of skyscraper construction yet. However, through their Timber Tower Research Project, SOM has come up with a structural system for skyscrapers that uses mass timber as the main structural material and consequently minimizes the building’s carbon footprint.

“Architects should focus on using wood for these types of structures because we do think of it as the way of the future. Energy and resources are just going to become more and more important going forward, and mass timber technology has no way to go but up,” Johnson explains.

Win a Free Full Pass to Greenbuild from reThink Wood

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UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. We will contact the winner in the week.

Next month, the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is coming to the Big Easy for three days of speakers and educational workshops that discuss sustainable architecture. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend the event free of charge!

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to this year ($700 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on-site that are passionate about the green movement and reducing the environmental impact of buildings through innovative design with wood.

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before September 26 12:00PM EST: ”Which architecture firm(s) are doing the most innovative green designs with wood today?”

Hello Wood 2014 Invites Student Teams to ‘Play With Balance’

© Tamás Bujnovszky

Set in the bucolic fields of Csórompuszta in the Hungarian countryside, the annual Hello Wood camp was recently back for its fifth year. Every year, students have one week to create wooden installations under the instruction of specially selected tutors, each of whom provide an outline idea of a project in response to a theme. This time around the challenge from the organizers was to “play with balance,” which generated ideas that investigated the balance between opposing concepts – but also generated a whole lot of play, too. See all 14 of the weird and wonderful results after the break.

Trenches, Benches, and Trees on Towers: New Exhibit Delves Into our Relationship with WOOD

In our technology-obsessed age we tend to forget where materials actually come from. But in their first exhibition on materials, WOOD, the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam not only overviews wood’s uses from World War I trenches to daily tools, but also reminds us where wood comes from, tracking wood’s manmade and natural “cycles” of destruction and reconstruction. WOOD is curated by , in cooperation with exhibition designers Jannetje in ‘t Veld and Toon Koehorst and is showing until October 8th of this year – learn more at the website here.

Why Tall Wooden Buildings are On the Rise: An Interview with Perkins+Will’s Wood Expert

IZM Building / Architekten Hermann Kaufmann – Germany. Image © Norman A. Müller

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Wood. The United States is the largest producer of the natural resource in the world. But yet we rarely see it in commercial, high-rise construction. So we asked a wood expert – Rebecca Holt at Perkins+Will, an analyst for reThink Wood‘s recent Tall Wood Survey  – to tell us about its potential benefits.

AD: Why is wood a material architects should use in taller buildings?

There are lots of reasons to consider wood – first it has a lower environmental impact than other traditional choices like concrete and steel.  Wood is the only major building material that is made the by sun and is completely renewable.

Arthur Andersson on Timeless Materials & Building “Ruins”

Tower House . Image © Art Gray

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural  in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Arthur Andersson of Andersson-Wise Architects wants to build ruins. He wants things to be timeless – to look good now and 2000 years from now. He wants buildings to fit within a place and time. To do that he has a various set of philosophies, processes and some great influences. Read our full in-depth interview with Mr. Andersson, another revolutionary ”Material Mind,” after the break.

Ten Buildings Pushing The Boundaries of Wood

Perkins + Will UBC Earth Sciences Building. Image © Martin Tessler

Wood is the ultimate material - it’s renewable, sequesters carbon and more importantly, it’s buildable. Nevertheless wood is rarely used in tall, vertical construction. Now reThink wood has come out with their Tall Wood Survey (available in full on their website), which surveyed over 50 wood experts to explore three main areas in which wood is usually questioned: financing, insurance and performance. But beyond discussing the pros and cons of wood, the survey also highlights 10 projects that show how wood products are being used in ways you never thought existed. See all ten innovative projects, after the break. 

Brazilian Artist Builds Labyrinth of Wooden Roots

Screenshot from video

Given a cavernous gallery space at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade in São Paulo, artist Henrique Oliveira has created Transarquitetônica, a breathtaking installation from , which fills the room with twisted tree roots large enough for gallery visitors to walk inside.

Read on after the break for more images of the installation, including photos of its construction

A+U 524: New Landscapes of Wooden Architecture

From the publisher. May 2014 issue of a+u is focused on wooden architecture from around the world that creates new landscapes.

In addition to nine built works, the issue features two competitions foreseeing the -nization of cities and three essays. The essays discuss different aspects of wood technology: adaptive structure of ultra-light shell by University of Stuttgart, harmonizing the joints of prefabricated wooden elements by collaboration of Finland’s industry, university and government, and building technology in Canada and other countries. When these technologies become practical and realized as architecture, we will witness a completely new landscape.

Win a Free Full Pass to the 2014 AIA National Convention from reThink Wood

Dewitt-Chestnut Apartments. Image © Hedrich Blessing via SOM

UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. We will contact the winner in the week.

Next month, the AIA National Convention is coming to Chicago – bringing together the best and brightest building professionals to network, and learn about growing trends in the architecture industry. If you haven’t booked your ticket already, here is a chance to attend the event free of charge!

reThink Wood is offering a full pre-paid pass to the AIA National Convention ($945 value) to one lucky ArchDaily reader. The winner will also be able to meet with architects on site that are passionate about innovative design with in mid-rise, and even high-rise projects.

To win, just answer the following question in the comments section before May 21 12:00PM EST: What architect(s) are doing the most interesting work with wood today?

More on reThink Wood at the AIA, after the break.