Over the past few days, plans for London’s first wooden skyscraper have been presented to Mayor of London Boris Johnson after researchers claimed that natural materials were ‘vastly underused’. A team of architects from Cambridge University and architecture firms PLP and Smith and Wallwork have designed an 80 storey, 300 metre high timber building to be located in Barbican complex, which could potentially result in 1000 new residential units! A no, we’re not telling tall stories here – it’s even been dubbed The Toothpick!
The architectural team say that wood could revolutionise 21st century construction in the same way that steel, glass and concrete revolutionised construction in the 19th and 20th centuries. Accordingly, buildings would be built quicker, made more cheaply and weigh less, and according to Michael Ramage (head of the Cambridge team), people have a “greater affinity” for taller buildings in natural materials, rather than steel and concrete towers. Not sure how they measured that one, but hey, apparently affinity for buildings is a thing…One measurement we do trust is that it would be the second-tallest building in the capital, a little shorter than the Shard’s 310m.
Researchers said that they aware of the fire risk of wooden structures, but claimed all their designs would meet or exceed current fire safety regulations. Currently, the world’s tallest timber building is a 14-floor apartment block in Norway, which would be dwarfed if these plans go ahead.
Featured Image Credit:Independent