Canadian Architect Designs World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper

Here at Q-CAD, we love keeping up with recent innovations in architecture. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of CAD architectural drafting, and are always looking for developments and ideas that could find a place in the world of building planning and construction.

At the recent Reinventer Paris design competition, in which architects were tasked with presenting ideas for revitalizing Paris’ architecture, Canadian Michael Green and French firm DVVD presented a novel plan: the designs for the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper. The proposed wooden apartment complex sits at the center of Green’s design for what he calls the Baobab complex, which also includes a student hotel, bus station, and e-car hub, and is designed to be an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to help tackle Paris’ growing housing problem.

Members of the project are comparing the wooden Baobab tower to the Eiffel Tower, in terms of being an iconic new structure that challenges future designers to change the way they build, and Green is not shying away from the comparison. He notes that when the Eiffel Tower debuted in 1889 as the world’s tallest structure, it inspired a generation of architects to use steel in their buildings and set off a competition across the world to build the world’s new tallest structure, one that lasted decades. If his project gets off the ground, Green hopes that his work will have a similar effect, inspiring a new generation of architects to build ecofriendly urban complexes out of wood instead of metal.

Green notes that wood absorbs and stores carbon dioxide, something that steel, concrete, and other widely used construction material cannot do. That means that if wooden structures become more widely used, they could have a positive impact on the air quality and environmental health of their neighborhoods, absorbing and storing excess carbon that would otherwise stay in the atmosphere.

At the moment, there are no plans to bring Green’s wooden skyscraper into the world. But that does not mean that the idea of wooden skyscrapers is the pipe dream of just one eccentric architect.

Are Wooden Skyscrapers the Future?

The sound of wooden skyscrapers may sound strange, but it is an idea that has been gaining increasing traction in the architecture world. So-called “plyscrapers” are something that architects across the globe have begun taking more seriously, and plans for several wooden buildings similar to Green’s Paris apartment building have already been built, such as the 97-foot tall Wood Innovation and Design Center in British Columbia. Wooden skyscrapers have also been constructed in Australia and the United Kingdom, and two more are scheduled to be built in Vienna (the 275-foot HoHo building, to begin construction in 2016) and Stockholm (a 34-story apartment complex that may be completed by 2023).

Proponents of wood structures point to the positive environmental impact, as well as wood’s dexterity as a building material. Green’s plan, in particular, also calls for his building to be constructed in a factory, and then assembled on site from the prefabricated materials, which he says will also reduce costs and build time. While some serious issues would have to be addressed (the first being the obvious fire safety problems involved with all wooden structures), Green and other architects are confident that wood can become a transformative factor in architecture and environmental policy.

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Canadian Architect Designs



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