A milestone in modern timber construction, SKAIO is Germany’s first wooden high-rise and currently the country’s tallest wooden building. Its timber-frame construction is, to a large extent, prefabricated, comprised of supporting structures made of laminated timber, and wooden slabs that rest on steel ring beams that resonate with the slim design of the construction. The project is part of the recently developed residential quarter Neckarbogen, an urban district in Heilbronn. While the Bundesgartenschau, a biennial federal horticulture show held in Germany, traditionally features landscape architecture and gardening with often beneficial, lasting effects on urban living, this year’s host city approached the format from a slightly different angle. Located in the north of Baden-Württemberg, along the river banks of the Neckar, Heilbronn was largely rebuilt in the 1950s after airstrikes had wiped out considerable portions of the urban fabric, including the city’s historic district. Today, its population is steadily growing, and the organizers of the exhibition decided to devise a new residential quarter with 22 buildings—home for 3,500 people.
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