Architects are finally recognizing the versatility of wood by building innovative timber-framed structures that offer an alternative to traditional steel and concrete construction. Over the last few decades, the trend of building with timber has expanded to include such challenging buildings as high-rises. Now, PLP Architecture and researchers from the University of Cambridge teamed up to design London’s first timber tower and, if realized, the city’s second tallest building, after The Shard.


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The 80-story Oakwood Tower will house up to 1,000 new living units. Renderings show two adjoinging structures protruding above the concrete blocks of the Barbican housing estate and its arts center designed in the 1950s. As a lightweight and versatile alternative to traditional construction materials, timber allows for faster constructiPLP Architecture and researchers from the University of Cambridge teamed up to design London’s first timber tower on and lowers carbon emission.

Related: Bordeaux’ Canopia tower will be one of the tallest timber frame structures in the world

“The use of timber as a structural material in tall buildings is an area of emerging interest for its variety of potential benefits; the most obvious being that it is a renewable resource, unlike prevailing construction methods which use concrete and steel,” said a statement from the University of Cambridge.

+ PLP Architecture

+ University of Cambridge Department of Architecture

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