It looks like today’s urban developers are starting to, uh, branch out. Architecture firm Nikken Sekkei is teaming up with Sumitomo Forestry Co. Ltd., who are both based out of Tokyo, to create the world’s tallest skyscraper made primarily out of wood.
What differentiates this project from other primarily wooden constructions is the magnitude? This thing is expected to soar 350 metres (or 1,148 feet) into the sky. Sumitomo says their goal is “to create environmentally-friendly and timber-utilizing cities where they become forests through increased use of wooden architecture for high-rise buildings.”
Obviously a building of that height couldn’t feasibly be constructed completely out of wood, but Nikken Sekkei are planning for it to be made from 90 per cent wooden materials. A hybrid of wood and steel will compose the braced tube structure design, which will assist with vibration control.
Sumitomo believe that wooden buildings like these “create a comfortable environment for both plants and living organisms, providing a pleasant space for the people living there and in the surrounding city. These structures are like a forest, a habitat for living things.”
All that wood would come at quite the cost, however. The predicted cost of the project totals more than $7 billion Canadian.
Of course, this amount of wood raises environmental concerns as well as financial ones, although the Japanese forestry company says that “increased timber demand will promote replanting and contribute to revitalization of forestry and local community through producing seedlings to encourage sustainability of forests.”
They chose the opening date of 2041 to celebrate what would be the forestry company’s 350th anniversary. They were founded in 1691.
If the tale of the three little pigs is anything to go by, I’ll be standing far, far away from this building after it goes up. At least for a while. Although. if the reputation of Japanese engineering is anything to go by, I doubt a wolf would be able to blow this down, let alone the country’s frequent seismic wave activity.