World’s tallest timber tower to take root in Vancouver

Award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has unveiled his latest design for what is set to become the world’s tallest hybrid timber structure.

There’s something of a competition going on for the title of the world’s tallest timber structure, said Tobi Reyes, the CEO of PortLiving.

The Vancouver-based developer is behind the residential project Terrace House, an innovative hybrid structure of wood, glass and concrete. When built in downtown Vancouver, it will stand 19 storeys and 71 metres tall, one storey higher that the current record holder for world’s tallest wood building – Brock Commons at the University of British Columbia, which also happens to be in Vancouver.

According to PortLiving, Terrace House is a “prominent gesture that demonstrates Vancouver’s commitment to forward-thinking sustainable design and advanced timber engineering and construction”.

Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, Terrace House will be Ban’s tallest project to date, and his first building in Canada. As the design magazine Dezeen reported, it will feature triangular shapes, natural materials and terraces overflowing with greenery to ensure continuity with its neighbouring landmark, the Evergreen building designed by the late Canadian architect Arthur Erickson.

Ban’s first timber project was the Tamedia headquarters in Zurich. The building’s most notable feature is its exposed structural system made entirely of timber, with no metal connectors, wrote Dezeen.

According to a recent article in the Vancouver Sun, architects across Europe are working on similar projects: a 57-metre tall tower in Bordeaux, France, a 73-metre tower in Amsterdam, and even a 304-metre tall skyscraper in London — all in wood.

But Reyes isn’t particularly concerned about getting beaten to the prize: unlike those other projects, his already has a development permit and is now working toward securing a building permit.


Image credit: PortLiving

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