Sweden is hitting new heights in the wooden skyscraper trend with a 34-storey wood building proposed for Stockholm.
The design was created for HSB Stockholm’s architectural competition 2023, an initiative that marks the organisation’s 100 years as Sweden’s largest building society, and to celebrate an “ultra-modern residential high-rise building” will be built in the city.
The skyscraper was designed through a collaboration between Berg | C.F. Møller Architects, Dinell Johansson and Tyréns, who are competing with two other architecture teams made up of Equator Stockholm with Mojang (Minecraft) and Utopia Architects with Rosenberg Architects.
Simply called HSB 2.0, the designers aim for the structure to be what Berg | C.F. Møller calls “a new and characteristic beacon and meeting place in their city.”
Solid wood will be the predominant material in the building’s pillars and beams, while inside, walls, ceilings, fittings and window frames will be also constructed of wood.
Sustainable and green initiatives have been implemented into HSB 2.0 through the installation of solar panels on the roof to power the building. Each apartment will have an energy saving and glass-covered verandah. A communal winter garden that allocates allotment gardens for residents is being implemented and vertical greenery will be used throughout the structure.
Shared amenities include a new community centre, a market square, fitness centre and bicycle storage room. To save space, there is no large lobby, with the building simply featuring an elevator to get residents to their floors.
Skyscrapers have come a long way since 1885, when the first steel skyscraper, the 10-storey Home Insurance Building in Chicago was built with steel and concrete as primary structural materials.
Wood has been experimented with over the past few years and wooden skyscrapers have begun to rise since the first nine-storey wooden structure was built in London in 2009.
Sweden is already home to a seven-floor wooden building while Melbourne currently has the tallest wooden residential building in the world, the 10-storey Forte Apartments created from cross-laminated timber.
According to HSB 2.0’s architectural team, a back-to-basics approach to materials was key to the project.
“Wood is one of nature’s most innovative building materials: the production has no waste products and it binds C02,” they said of the material’s performance.
“Wood has low weight, but is a very strong-load bearing structure compared to its lightness.”
Wooden facades have also been shown to be just as structurally sound as concrete or steel, with better thermal properties for the building.
Another wooden building currently under construction is renowned Vancouver architect, Michael Green’s Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC) in British Columbia, Canada.
Upon completion, the 27.5-metre building will be the tallest in North America, with Green citing wood as a more cost-effective and sustainable alternative to concrete and steel in his recent report, The Case for Tall Wood Buildings.
“Wood is the most significant building material we use today that is grown by the sun. When harvested responsibly, wood is arguably one of the best tools architects and engineers have for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and storing carbon in our buildings,” the study reads.
Given woods’ environmental and strength benefits, more city skylines could soon boast wooden structures.
Voting is now open for HSB Stockholm’s architectural competition, as each team has presented their proposals for the private residences of the future across three different locations in the centre of Stockholm. HSB 2.0 is competing with the other two entries: One More Block and Park Houses.
One More Block by Equator Stockholm and Mojang (Minecraft) features three aligning residencies that connect with a park to create a new square and community hub. This project also uses heavy wooden walls to provide “thermal inertia” and features a double glass façade exterior.
Park Houses by Utopia and Rosenberg Architects is a series of houses, rooftops and gardens in a bid to raise greenery in the area and encourage urban farming.