Japan To Build World’s Tallest Timber Skyscraper In Tokyo

Japan To Build World’s Tallest Timber Skyscraper In Tokyo

Japanese builder and developer Sumitomo Forestry has unveiled designs for the world’s tallest timber skyscraper in the heart of Tokyo. Designed by Nikken Sekkei, the 350 meter tall wooden tower will form part of the W350 Project, a mixed-use environmentally friendly development that the firms aim to complete in 2041 to mark Sumitomo’s 350th anniversary. The company says these steel-and-timber structures will help “transform the city into a forest.”

Early renderings of the W350 project show the timber buildings covered in greenery and filled with natural light as part of Sumitomo’s message of promoting a healthier living environment. The buildings will be built to withstand earthquakes and be constructed with a 9:1 ratio of wood to steel. The development’s skyscraper centerpiece with 450 thousand square meters total area will house a hotel, offices, retail and residences. When complete, it will not only be the tallest timber tower in the world but also the tallest building in Japan.

W350 is estimated to need over 185 thousand cubic meters of wood and cost approximately US$ 5.6 billion. This would be enough for 8000 of the company’s built-to-order homes. While the building framework will be made of a hybrid timber-steel structure, the interior will feature exposed wood in an attempt to bring people closer to nature. Sumitomo Forestry will research wood-based materials that can withstand flames for three hours. The plans also include waterfalls and such fire-resistant plants on the exterior of the building. The company hopes that the project will popularize timber architecture and help jumpstart a revitalization of the forestry industry in rural areas and interest in reforestation.