The race to make the world’s tallest timber skyscraper is underway as timber towers are sprouting up quite regularly. However, Japanese lumber and housing firm Sumitomo Forestry has plans to smash all previous records and claim the title of the world’s tallest timber skyscraper for themselves.
If their plans to come to fruition, the building will stand tall at 350 metres. The skyscraper is named the W350 and will comprise 455,000 square metres of floor space. This will be spread over 70 floors and divided between retail, residences, office space and hotels. The roof will have a green space and the facade will also be spotted with green.
According to the firm, the building will be made mostly of wooden materials with some steel structural support to ensure that it can withstand earthquakes and high winds. “The planned structure is a hybrid wood and steel structure made from 90 percent wooden materials. It will use a braced tube structure in which steel frame vibration control braces (diagonal braces) are positioned inside a column and beam structure, made from a combination of wood and steel.”
Related to the design and incorporating greenery in the project, the firm said, “The outermost side is designed with balconies that continue around all four sides of the building. The balcony part gives the high-rise building a space in which people can enjoy fresh outside air, rich natural elements and sunshine filtering through foliage. The greenery connects from the ground to the top floors through the balcony part, and it offers a view of biodiversity in an urban setting.”
All that is well and good but there is a catch. The construction of the W350, which will cost $5.6 billion is not planned until 2041. This is significant as it will be the form’s 350th birthday. The firm is hoping that there will be technological advancements in timber construction that will help lower the cost in the future but sadly we will have to wait for a little over two decades before the timber skyscraper becomes a reality.