Gallery: World’s Tallest Wooden Building Planned for Norway

wooden structure, wooden building, world's tallest wooden building, kirkenes, norway, norwegian barents secretariat, local materials

Recently the Norwegian Barents Secretariat announced plans for a new cultural center that is being touted as the world’s tallest wooden building. The Secretariat hopes that the new structure will serve as a physical symbol of their important role in the High North – a lighthouse of sorts and a beacon of knowledge and development. As part of that role, the new office and cultural center will also act as a model for sustainable building and carbon neutrality.

Currently the world’s tallest wooden structure is said to be a 144 ft, 13-story home in Arkhangelsk, in North-West Russia built by Nikolai Sutyagin. The new tower by the Secretariat will be located in Kirkenes, Norway and will be 16-17 stories tall and constructed from natural materials with innovative and environmental solutions in all parts of the building. Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects are responsible for the ambitious project, which will be situated in downtown Kirkenes on the historical ground of a multiethnic area.

To achieve carbon neutrality, Reiulf Ramstad Architects is relying on integrated systems that also enable it- to adapt to the changing seasons and climate. The firm also plans to reuse biodegradable household and industrial waste to produce biogas. Recycled materials from the surrounding area will be incorporated into the design, which is based on traditional architecture from Russia, Sweden, Finland and Norway.

The interior of the center will house energy-efficient offices for the Barents Secretariat as well as a library, a theater and a creative environment for artists, researchers, students and other relevant institutions. Their goal is that the wooden building will serve as an example of sustainable construction for the surrounding region while acting as a center for cooperation between Russians, Finns, Swedes, Saamis and Norwegians.

+ Reiulf Ramstad Architects


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  1. Eric December 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

    What a beautiful building. I agree with other comments that the image is probably not correctly drawn to scale.

  2. jarze July 19, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Don’t know which is actually the tallest. One site claims a church in Guyana is the tallest with no numbers, other says that Sakyamuni Pagoda is tallest at 67.3 m or about 220 feet.

  3. Finland's Luukku House ... June 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    […] a longstanding Finnish tradition of extensive and inventive use of wood as a construction material. Wood is also a low-embodied energy material, and the Luukku House team has calculated not only the […]

  4. my2cents October 30, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    This building needs a hat.

  5. LEROY September 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Here is another much larger wood framed building to add to the list. The Tillamook airship hangar, located in Tillamook, Oregon, (now the Tillamook Air Museum) was built in 1942. It uses an all wood three dimensional truss to free-span over 7 acres of floor area. It is 192 feet high, 296 feet wide and 1072 feet long. Its 120 foot tall doors,, are almost as tall as this tower. It is well worth a visit.

  6. davidwayneosedach August 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    This building is absolutely beautiful! Please be ONE HUNDRED AND TEN PER CENT fireproof!

  7. SANDEEP MAHAJAN August 27, 2009 at 3:17 am

    concept is amazing. wooden structure will give warmth to the neighbourhood. but i really don’t know if they r using massive glazing or not. large glasses will ruin the concept. if at all they r using they should give sunken windows so that it does not spoil the beauty.

  8. DirkDB August 26, 2009 at 8:20 am

    The design of this building looks a lot like the new Museum At the Stream in Antwerp, see,38,0,0,1,0/

  9. Joseph August 25, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    ConcretelyAmbiguous seems to think that way as well – The signficance is massive, wood is a renewable resource, almost all other building materials are not. A radio tower is not a building, a monastery maybe, but I am willing to guess that it is just a dome.

  10. bar August 24, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Gliwice Radio Tower (387 feet) has been the world’s tallest wooden structure since 1935.

  11. ConcretelyAmbiguous August 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    What is the significance of building a wooden structure. It seems to be an outdated concept. What am I missing?

    Here’s some other things that you can not do.

  12. grad studio August 24, 2009 at 8:42 am

    This building has the potential to shed such a massive ray of light on timber architecture worldwide, however I feel as though it misrepresents the inherent qualities of timber as a construction material, and the craftsmanship involved not only in its design but also its construction. I am currently completing my thesis on timber architecture, and hopefully it is only the scale of the renders, and might I add, the poor rendering skills, that are leading to the misrepresentation that are bringing it down.

  13. ecosit August 24, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Nice, but not the tallest. :) In Romania, there is a 187ft monastery, and it’s not the tallest wood building in Europe. It seemns there are more tall as this one. It’s true that is only one or two story building, but the edge of the roof reach 187ft (57 meters). Google it: “Monastery Barsana”

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