As part of the Circlewood consortium, OMA’s David Gianotten and Michel den Otter have developed a modular system to build schools that can adapt and transform throughout their lifecycle. The system was selected by the City of Amsterdam to be employed to build multiple schools in the coming ten years, as part of the Innovation Partnership School Buildings program. The citywide initiative aims to build nine to thirty “high-quality, flexible, and sustainable” schools as a way to contribute to the city’s goal of becoming fully circular by 2050.
Timber Buildings: The Latest Architecture and News
OMA / David Gianotten and Circlewood Develop a Modular Wood System to Create Flexible Schools for the City of Amsterdam
The Tallest Mass Timber Building in Denver, US, is Set to Break Ground in 2023
Denver-based architecture office Tres Birds announced that Denver’s tallest mass timber building is planned to break ground in July 2023. The 12-story building named “Return to Form” will be located in the River North Arts District in Denver, US. Its structural system uses mass timber, a new technology that utilizes small-diameter trees from sustainably managed forests. Through continuous planting and responsible harvesting, these forests are becoming a source of renewable and low-impact building materials. The mass timber structure is comprised of wood panels that are glued and laminated together. This provides not only strength and stability but also fire resistance.
What Is Half-Timbered Architecture?
Contrary to what some people mistakenly say, half-timber is not a style, but a building technique. Brought to Brazil by German immigrants, it was used mainly in regions of Espírito Santo, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. The technique has now become a strong attraction for tourists. But after all, what defines it?
OMT Architects Designs Africa's Tallest Timber Tower in Zanzibar City, Tanzania
German-based architecture firm OMT designed Africa's tallest hybrid timber tower in Zanzibar City, Tanzania. In partnership with Birk Heilmeyer Frenzel Architects, engineering firm Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineers, and CPS Developers, the "Burj Zanzibar" will rise 96 meters tall to accommodate 266 residences and recreational and conferencing facilities. The mixed-use tower will promote the locally available wood and support the growing urban infrastructure that, according to the government plans, expects to attract tech companies to turn the island into a leading hub for Africa's technology companies.
Icon Architects Designs North America's Tallest Timber Building in Toronto, Canada
Icon Architects unveiled the design of a 90 meters tall timber tower in Toronto, Canada, which would become, once completed, North America's tallest building made of wood. Named the "191-199 College Street," the project is aligned with the master plan led by Alison Brooks Architects, Adjaye Associates, Henning Larsen, and SLA to develop Toronto's Waterfront that seeks to turn the Canadian city into a hub of affordable housing, robust public spaces, and new business opportunities. The construction of the CLT tower will cut over 3,300 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and accommodate around 400 affordable rental units.
Henning Larsen Designs Church with Wooden Roof Domes in Copenhagen
Henning Larsen has revealed the first images of the Ørestad Church, the first church to be built in Copenhagen in the last 30 years. The modern monument is built in wood and wood shingle, reflecting Ørestad’s open natural landscape and embracing the identity of the local community. The intention was to create a serene space, detached from the bustle of the city, where the calmness and simplicity of interior spaces can offer residents solace from their everyday life. Construction is expected to start in 2024, and the church will be consecrated in 2026.
Herzog & de Meuron Unveils Mass Timber Mixed-Use Development in Austin, Texas
Herzog & de Meuron have unveiled their latest mixed-use development in one of Austin, Texas' most desirable districts. Dubbed ‘Sixth & Blanco’, the continuous horizontal wooden structure is nestled between vernacular store fronts, restaurants, stores, galleries, tree-lined streets, and walkable routes near the Clarksville neighborhood. The challenge of the project was to propose an architecture that takes key ingredients from its surroundings and distributes them throughout a dense yet permeable program.
HA-HA Designs Modular-Timber System to Create Affordable Housing in Rotterdam
HA-HA, in partnership with BIK Bouw and Wooncompas Housing, will develop four social housing blocks for the community of Ridderkerk, near Rotterdam, Netherlands. The project uses materials from the existing social housing estate, built in the 1950s, and employs an innovative modular-timber system to create sustainable human-centered housing. The old buildings are planned to be disassembled and their components reused and integrated into the new development, which will increase the number of affordable units by 13%.
Haptic and Ramboll Explore the Future of Timber High-Rise
Haptic and Ramboll conceptualize a novel structure that hopes to eradicate the need for demolition. The timber high-rise construction is built for maximum flexibility and longevity, being able to change its configuration and, consequently, its functions to adapt to the city’s changing needs. The design concept is based on the idea of maximizing the potential of sites in inner-city neighborhoods. To exemplify the regenerative potential of this model, the architects have applied the concept to a tight urban area in the center of Oslo, Norway.
Henning Larsen Designs Experience Centre in Gothenburg for Car Manufacturer Volvo
Henning Larsen revealed the design for World of Volvo, an experience centre for the Swedish car manufacturer that highlights the Scandinavian landscape and architectural traditions. Currently under construction, the project features a circular timber structure that takes on a modern approach to traditional construction material, while expressing openness and an intimate relationship with the landscape. The venue is set for completion in late 2023 and will open to visitors in 2024.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Designs World's Tallest Residential Timber Building
Danish architecture practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen revealed the winning design of an international competition for the world’s tallest residential timber building. Located in the Swiss city of Winterthur, the 100-metre tall Rocket&Tigerli tower developed in close corporation with the local Swiss architecture studio Cometti Truffer Hodel echoes the 19th-century industrial architecture of the surrounding area through its facades of dark red and yellow terracotta bricks. The project proposes a variety of residential typologies and amenities that are set to create a vibrant neighbourhood.
Shigeru Ban Architects Designs Wellness Retreat in Japan
Shigeru Ban Architects designed a wellness retreat on Japan’s Awaji Island. The project features a bridge-like wooden structure suspended above the lush landscape, providing visitors with a zen experience. The Vierendeel timber girder allows for a 21-metre span and a significant cantilever on one end of the 90-metre long structure. The Zenbo Seinei retreat, which will focus on meditation and healthy food, is currently under construction and is set to open this spring.
Powerhouse Company Reveals Designs for Netherlands’ First Mass Timber University
Powerhouse Company revealed its design for the new Tilburg University Lecture Hall, which upon completion, will be the Netherlands’ first academic building made of cross-laminated timber. Set within a wooded landscape, the lecture hall is a nod to the 1960s grade-listed Modernist architecture of the campus, echoing its monastic atmosphere through the rhythm of the windows and the limestone façades.
Henning Larsen Reveals one of the Largest Contemporary Wood Structures in Denmark
Henning Larsen and Ramboll have revealed the design of Marmormolen, a large timber building in Copenhagen. The building, which is expected to be one of the largest contemporary wood structures in Denmark, features office, retail, and commercial facilities on the Nordhavn waterfront with a green plaza, rooftop gardens, promenades, and a waterfront park.
Before “Colonial” There Was Immigrant Architecture in North America
There is an architecture of the migrant. It is survivalist, built with what is available, made as quickly as possible, with safety as its core value. Americans romanticize that architecture as “Colonial”: simple timber buildings, with symmetric beginnings, infinite additions, and adaptations. But “Colonial” architecture is not what was built first by the immigrants to a fully foreign land 400 years ago. Like all migrant housing, time made it temporary and forgotten.
Devesas Factory Building / Anarchlab, Architecture Laboratory
Architects: Anarchlab, Architecture Laboratory
- Area: 1008 m²
- Year: 2020
Raw Materials: 8 Wooden Houses from Spain
Is wood the future of construction?
The history etched into Spain's wooden houses has many lessons to teach us about the role of wood in creating everything from light-weight and mobile modular homes to interior and exterior finishes. What's more, these lessons are not limited to new constructions. They apply to everything from furniture to remodels.