All over the world, unique projects are being developed to mitigate carbon emissions. One such project comes from Anders Berensson Architects in Sweden. The firm’s bold proposal is for Bank of Norrland, the world’s largest timber structure.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
A snowy landscape with a cube-like structure in the distance.

Produced for the exhibition “Architectures of Transition” at Bildmuseet in Umeå, the design for Bank of Norrland can store a year’s worth of timber production. This wood bank has many potential uses. While the main purpose is to store carbon dioxide, Bank of Norrland can also store timber for future use and help farmers find fair pay for their wood. As Anders Berensson Architects emphasizes, storing timber for future eco-friendly projects helps divert it from “being immediately burnt for paper or fuel as it is today, a practice that releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

Related: Transportation hub in Sweden has a futuristic, floating solar roof

A large timber structure made of stacked logs.

“In order to become fossil-free, Sweden is in the process of reducing its consumption of oil-based products,” the firm said in a press release. “To become climate-neutral, the country must soon deal with its forest industry, and address the questions of how we harvest wood and for what use it is put. The Bank of Norrland is a science fiction story. Its scientific component summarizes facts about Sweden’s forest industry today, whilst as fiction it suggests a new, radical forest industry that generates a new, radical architecture.”

A person in red inspecting rows of logs.

Reminiscent of the classic Lincoln Logs toy, plans for the Bank show rows of logs stacked atop each other to dry in long rows. These rows intersect to form stable cubes. This design even accounts for wood shrinkage and the logistics of timber delivery trucks.

A triangular stack of logs forming a room with a table and hanging light.

The proposal’s “science fiction” aspect envisions Bank of Norrland as a step toward Sweden’s future as a leading wood economy. Given the Swedish building industry’s dependence on local wood, the proposal also highlights how the timber bank could help ensure continuity for builders and manufacturers.

+ Anders Berensson Architects

Images via Anders Berensson Architects