Timber: The Latest Architecture and News
Scandinavian firm White Arkitekter has won an architectural competition for a landmark 12-meter-tall observation tower, hosted by the municipality of Varberg, Sweden. The winning proposal will form part of the development of the region’s new ecological recreation area at the Getterön nature reserve.
The need to substantially reduce our impact on the planet must be translated into a significant change to our lifestyle and habits. One of these is to consume responsibly and consider that waste does not exist, but that all material can be transformed into something useful again following a circular ecological system.
In his book Upcycling Wood, Reutilización creativa de la madera, the architect and artist Bruno Sève writes and edits a non-exhaustive guide of the uses and possibilities of recovered wood, as a framework for responsible reuse; from small scale, such as furniture or artists' canvases, to medium scale, with its use in interiors and facades. This book seeks to raise awareness among professionals and citizens in general through analysis of the life cycle, examples of uses and finishing processes, leading to an ecological and responsible framework. The book is illustrated by numerous design and architecture teams who follow the guidelines of ecological design with reclaimed wood.
Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter has unveiled details of their housing scheme in Hafjelltoppen, Norway. Designed to accommodate about 1000 people, Mosetertoppen is rooted in both tradition and innovation, with inspiration drawn from the cultural landscape and building art, and a rethinking in relation to sustainable architecture, and how to build in the Norwegian mountain landscape in the future.
Perkins + Will have revealed a new design for the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper in Vancouver. Called Canada Earth Tower, the mass timber project is designed along the city’s Central Broadway corridor. Bruce Langereis, president of Delta Land Development, unveiled the company’s proposal to transform a 1.3-acre lot at 1745 West 8th Avenue with a project that could rise up to 40 floors. Canada Earth Tower aims to become a new precedent and benchmark for green building construction.
New technology in digital building, particularly Computer Numerical Control (CNC) systems, are changing the way that we design and build wooden structures. Their high level of precision allows us to design perfect assembles--without screws or visible metalwork--resulting in structures that are durable, easy-to-build, and extremely well-organized. We spoke with the experts at Timber to better understand the process of building a wooden structure and to compile a list of key tips in designing one.
3XN has released details of its plans for T3 Bayside, the first office building in Toronto’s emerging Bayside community, and the tallest timber office building in North America. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, the structure stands at 42 meters in height and serves as part of the 2,000-acre revitalization initiative to transform Toronto’s waterfront.
The scheme is designed to reflect and emphasize the emerging neighborhood in which it sits, intertwining principals of life, work, and play. A continuously-activated ground level is abundant with retail opportunities, bleeding into a central plaza, exhibition spaces, flexible office spaces, and coworking facilities.
The Odunpazari Modern Museum (OMM) by Kengo Kuma and Associates will open in June 2019, situated in Eskişehir, a university town in the northwest of Turkey. The OMM will feature an internationally significant collection of modern and contemporary art, showcased within a scheme designed by the architect behind the recently-completed V&A Dundee.
The 4,500-square-meter scheme is defined by a distinctive stacked timber design, drawing inspiration from Odunpazari’s traditional Ottoman wooden cantilevered houses that are synonymous with the district, and pays homage to the town’s history as a thriving wood market. Along with several other city museums in the surrounding area, OMM will create a museum square and public meeting place in the town.
The Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has announced that Norway's Mjøstårnet tower is, at 85.4 meters, officially the world's tallest timber building. Beyond the unique distinction, the tower is also Norway's tallest mixed-use structure and third tallest building.
Antonio Serrano and Madrid-based Mad Lab have designed a collection of everyday objects inspired by Renaissance concepts of “Utopia.” The set of trays, boxes, and centerpieces are made from inlay maple and cedar wood, each telling “stories of entrepreneurship, design, craft, and technology.”
The collection, which manifests as a form of “scaled-down city,” considers Utopia as an imagined reflection on reality, rather than a yearning for an ideal city. The objects are full of “nods, winks, and gestures that leave us trapped in an illusion of a dream” conveyed through Renaissance architectural elements such as arches and spires.
C.F. Møller Architects have completed Sweden’s tallest timber building, which is now accepting its first tenants. Situated in Västerås, one hour from Stockholm, the building is constructed from solid timber in order to radically reduce CO2 emissions, positively affect the indoor climate, and enhance the interior quality of life.
The 8.5-story-high tower features an elevated ground floor and double-height top floor, with all walls, beams, balconies, lifts, and stairwells made from cross-laminated timber. The use of CNC-milled solid timber and glulam allows for an airtight, energy-efficient structure without the need for additional cladding.
Precht has designed a timber skyscraper concept that combines modular housing with vertical farming. The concept was created by Penda co-founder Chris Precht and his wife Fei to reconnect people in cities with agriculture. In their proposal, the modular housing units would be built so that residents can produce their own food. Dubbed the Farmhouse, the concept aims to create more sustainable ways of living as city dwellers are increasingly losing touch with food production.
Sidewalk Labs has released new renderings from Snøhetta and Heatherwick Studio of the Quayside neighborhood development in Toronto. After announcing plans to create a model smart city, Sidewalk Labs has been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments. Plans for Quayside were first revealed last summer, designed to be interconnected smart neighborhood for the city. The latest renderings were released with further documents outlining how the company plans to pay for the ground-up development.
Construction has begun on the Powerhouse Company-designed pavilion for the ING campus in Amsterdam. Located in the up-and-coming district of Amsterdam Southeast, the 900-square-meter pavilion seeks to “make a bold statement while integrating with its surroundings."
The clean, minimalist pavilion will sit at the heart of the ING campus, serving as both a dining area and a multifunctional space for the community. Emphasizing the natural landscape, the pavilion offers a synergy between the built and natural environment through a friendly circular form, a timber interior, and green Tichelaar tiles on the north and east facades.
Researchers at New York’s Columbia University have unveiled a method of vibrantly replicating the external and internal structure of materials such as wood using a 3D printer and specialist scanning techniques. While conveying the external profile and patterns of natural objects is tried and tested, a major challenge in the 3D printing industry has been replicating an object’s internal texture.
In their recent study “Digital Wood: 3D Internal Color Texture Mapping” the research team describes how a system of “color and voxel mapping “led to the production of a 3D printed closely resembling the texture of olive wood, including a cut-through section.
Swedish practice Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designed a series of colored timber homes for Gothenburg, Sweden. Part of a larger site development along Landvetter Lake, the project was imagined as a "vertical village" that rethinks the row house typology. A series of compact, three-level homes include private gardens around tall hedges and rounded plots. The solid timber design reimagines the firm's original proposal for a site in Stockholm.
As architects face up to the need for ethical, sustainable design in the age of climate change awareness, timber architecture is making a comeback in a new, technologically impressive way. Largely overlooked in the age of Modernism, recent years have seen a plethora of advancements related to mass timber across the world. This year alone, Japan announced plans for a supertall wooden skyscraper in Tokyo by 2041, while the European continent has seen plans for the world’s largest timber building in the Netherlands, and the world’s tallest timber tower in Norway.
The potential for mass timber to become the dominant material of future sustainable cities has also gained traction in the United States throughout 2018. Evolving codes and the increasing availability of mass timber is inspiring firms, universities, and state legislators to research and invest in ambitious projects across the country.
Australia’s largest engineered timber commercial building has opened in Brisbane, designed by Bates Smart. At 10 stories, and 45 meters in height, the “25 King” open plan office complex is the tallest timber structure in Australia, and “establishes new frontiers in the design of commercial buildings.
The scheme’s aesthetic is centered on the goal of “bringing a clear expression of its exposed timber structure to the building’s transparent envelope and promoting a warmer, more natural workplace environment of the future.”