It was revealed last week that PLP Architecture has developed a new concept for London’s very first wooden skyscraper – which will be a colossal 300-metre tall extension to the Barbican housing estate.
Working with researchers from Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture, PLP Architects established the proposition with engineer Smith and Wallwork to offer a completely different alternative to the other steel and concrete constructions that dominate the city.
“The use of timber could transform the way we build in this city,” said PLP partner Kevin Flanagan. “Timber buildings have the potential architecturally to create more pleasing, relaxed, sociable and creative urban experience.” Following the emerging timber-framed trends, Oakwood Tower would span 80-stories and incorporate a timber structure.
If the concept is approved by London mayor Boris Johnson it will be London’s second tallest skyscraper and the tallest wooden structure in the world!
Michael Romage, director of Cambridge’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation said: “The Barbican was designed in the middle of the last century to bring residential living into the city of London and was successful.
“If London is going to survive it needs to increasingly densify and one way is with taller buildings. We believe people have a greater affinity for taller buildings in natural materials rather than steel and concrete towers.’
Up to 1,000 new homes could be incorporated in the 93,000-square-metre floor plans, which would also include mid-rise terraces.
Timber has been used in the construction of homes for over 2,000 years and due to being a lightweight and sustainable substitute for traditional building materials it could help to speed up the erecting process and reduce carbon emissions.
“The use of timber as a structural material in tall buildings is an area of emerging interest for its variety of potential benefits: the most obvious being that it is a renewable resource, unlike prevailing construction methods which use concrete and steel,” said a statement from the University of Cambridge.