Timber high-rises are a hot topic in the architecture world these days, but will any of them actually be built? That remains to be seen. The latest addition to the burgeoning field comes from Danish design firm C.F. Møller, who just won HSB Stockholm's architectural competition! The firm designed a solar-powered 34-story residential building made mostly of wood with a concrete core and rooftop garden terraces.
One of the first things that comes to mind when someone mentions a wood skyscraper is the risk of fire, but the architects maintain that wood is more fire-safe than other common building materials. “Wood is also more fire resistant than both steel and concrete,” they explain. “This is due to 15% of wood mass being water, which will evaporate before the wood actually burns. In addition, logs get charred which protects the core.” Over at TreeHugger, Lloyd Alter punctures that assertion a bit, suggesting that calling wood more fire resistant that concrete is a stretch.
Architects have taken an interest in building tall buildings from wood because it is a lightweight, renewable material that can bear heavy loads in relation to its weight. In C.F. Møller‘s tower, the pillars and beams will be made from solid wood, and the interior walls, ceilings and window frames will all be made of wood also, making the interiors feel more like a cabin than apartments in a traditional high-rise. Each apartment will also feature a glass-covered veranda. And the roof of the building, which is cut away in a diamond shape, will be covered in solar panels.