Among the oldest tools that human hands ever created are axes, used to chop wood for fires and buildings. Wood is truly the mother of sustainable resources, a material that will grow back again and again. And now, wood is becoming the “it” design material. Sweden is starting an ambitious new project called Stockholm Wood City that will demonstrate the majesty of wood, and the possibilities it represents in sustainable building.

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A timber business structure in the middle of a city

Soon, Stockholm, Sweden will be the home of the largest urban construction project to be built out of wood in the entire world. In any material, this urban development would be stunning. In sustainable wood, it’s an example of environmentally-friendly construction.

Related: Would you work at this all-timber Amsterdam office?

A city walkway with high-rises

Stockholm Wood City will be completed in 2027, with construction beginning in 2025. The city will encompass spaces for work and housing, along with restaurants and shops. More than 2,000 new homes and 7,000 office spaces will be added to the city when the project is complete. The design was created by Atrium Ljungberg.

“This is not only an important step for us as a company, but a historic milestone for Swedish innovation capability,” said Annica Anas, Atrium Ljungberg CEO.

A street of timber business high-rise structures

Wood City’s design focuses on stored and shared, self-produced energy. The wooden buildings will have spaces for green plants, a design that will create a garden-like atmosphere. Wood is sustainable and an obvious benefit to the environment. It’s also a better insulator than steel and concrete and can also absorbs large amounts of CO2. Moreover, producing a ton of wood for building purposes generates far, far less emissions than cement or steel.

Timber high-rise structures amidst a walkway

This huge new project is a full-scale urban development with spaces for living, working and shopping. It’s an example of how sustainable design can be used to create anything. It’s a message that Sweden hopes will resonate around the world.

+ Atrium Ljungberg

Images via Atrium Ljungberg / Henning Larsen