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Vertical Wood Architecture: Oakwood Timber Tower

07 August 2019

London’s population is over 8 million people. For a city that goes to great lengths to protect its historical texture, a considerable increase in population is a big problem. To tackle with the increasing demand for accommodation, the city needs more buildings, which is another problem in itself because the materials used in the construction of those said buildings present a great risk to the environment.

Vertical architecture is ruining cities and the historical landmarks are disappearing in the shadow of steel and concrete structures. This is a problem urbanization experts have been focusing on lately.

That’s why wooden vertical buildings are becoming more and more popular. This approach not only protects the aesthetic appeal and historical character of a city, but it is also cheaper and renewable. What’s more is that these wooden buildings are a lot lighter than their steel and concrete counterparts.

Planned to be integrated within the Barbican Performance Arts Center, Oakwood Timber Tower will spread across 1 million square feet. It will include mixed-use tower and mid-rise terraces.

Wood that’s used in the construction of these buildings are called “crop.” Today, the world’s tallest wooden building is a building called “Treet” in Bergen, Norway. Concepts presented for the Barbican include a wooden skyscraper measuring 300m in height. If the projects is approved, the tower would be the second tallest in London after The Shard.

Recent researches show wooden buildings can have positive effects on its residents. Some other studies also suggest that in school made of wood students can perform better than they would in concrete school buildings.

The design for the Barbican is a first in a series of wooden skyscrapers, which are supposed to be funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Meeting the increasing demand for housing without contributing to the carbon emission problem might be possible if wood is used as a construction material for buildings. Using natural materials in construction is an intriguing approach and it attracts a lot of attention from people who’re becoming more and more in touch with nature everyday in today’s world. Who knows maybe wood will really be the solution to our problem.