Article first appeared in Dezeen
Japanese timber company Sumitomo Forestry has revealed plans for the world's tallest wooden building in Tokyo, a 350-metre skyscraper that would also be the country's highest. Named W350, the ambitious tower would be almost four times higher than the world's current tallest timber building – the 18-storey Brock Commons Student Residence in Vancouver, Canada. At 350 metres tall, the skyscraper would also become Japan's tallest building.
Timber is expected to make up 90 per cent of the hybrid structure, with 185,000 cubic metres of wood planned to be used in its construction. The building would use a "braced tube structure" with columns and beams made from steel and timber, supplemented by additional diagonal steel braces. The multi-use tower containing a hotel, residential units, offices, and shops would be wrapped in large balconies covered in plants.
"The aim is to create an environmentally-friendly and timber-utilising cities where they become forests through increased use of wooden architecture for high-rise buildings," said a statement from Sumitomo Forestry." 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," it continued. "The interior structure is of a pure wood, producing a calm space that exudes the warmth and gentleness of wood."
Also in Tokyo, timber is being used prominently on Kengo Kuma’s stadium for the 2020 Olympics. The plans for W350 are the latest in a series of proposals for conceptual timber skyscrapers - PLP Architecture revealed a concept for a 300 metre tall addition to the Barbican hosing estate in London.