Green cities: Tokyo announces plans for world’s tallest wooden skyscraper
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Green cities: Tokyo announces plans for world’s tallest wooden skyscraper

PLANS have been drawn up to build the world’s largest skyscraper made from wood in Tokyo, Japan.

The Japanese wood products company Sumitomo Forestry Co is proposing to build the 350m, 70-floor tower to commemorate its 350th anniversary in 2041.

The new building, which is being referred to as W350 Project, will be ten percent steel, combined with 180,000 cubic metres of indigenous wood.

The internal beams and braces will have a mixture of steel and wood and will be able to withstand the regular earthquakes that hit the region.

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Interior of proposed 350m tall wooden skyscraper in Tokyo. Source: Sumitomo Forestry Group

It will have balconies on all four sides as well as greenery from the ground to the top floor.

The eco-friendly project doesn’t come cheap, with costs expected to exceed twice that of a conventional skyscraper of the same size – coming in at approximately JPY600 billion (US$5.6 billion).

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But Sumitomo Forestry Co said in a press release the total would probably be brought down by technological advances between now and the 2041 scheduled completion date.

Sumitomo Forestry said the new building was an example of “urban development that is kind for humans,” with more high-rise architecture made of wood and covered with greenery “making over cities as forests.”


Interior of proposed 350m-tall wooden skyscraper in Tokyo. Source: Sumitomo Forestry Group

The current tallest wooden building is a 53m student residence in Vancouver that was completed last year. But it is unlikely to hold the title for long as the concept of wooden structures gains interest.

At 244m, the 80-storey River Beech Tower on the bank of the Chicago River is among the tallest of those proposed.

Designers have proposed a scheme for an equally tall wooden skyscraper in London called Oakwood Tower. In Stockholm, plans for a 133m residential building – the tallest in the city – are in the works. In addition to that, Zaha Hadid’s firm recently won the commission to construct an undulating, all-timber football stadium in England.