World's Tallest Wooden Tower Proposed For Paris

World's Tallest Wooden Tower Proposed For Paris

At first glance, the warm, luminous development proposed for a Paris site doesn't look much different than any other mixed-use project rising in other cities. But this village of high-rises is unique in that it would be made completely from wood-even the 35-story tower at the center.

If completed, the skyscraper named Baobab would be largest and tallest wooden structure on the planet, rising above two other wooden buildings currently proposed for Stockholm and Vienna.

The architect behind the wooden village is Michael Green, a designer who's been an evangelical voice for wood's revival. And he's not alone. The new development Created in collaboration with DVVD and real estate developer REI France. Thanks to incredible technological advances over the last decade, wood has become championed as stronger, safer, and more economical than steel.

That's because traditional wood beams are being replaced with prefabricated "mass timber," where sheets of wood with alternating grain are laminated atop one another to make a super-strong building material. This makes wood a far better choice for building a structure It not only requires much less energy to manufacture, it comes from a renewable source and can sequester carbon. And in many ways it's more fire-resistant than steel because burning wood creates a layer of insulation in the form of char (much like how trees protect themselves in a forest fire) which is less likely to structurally fail under the same conditions.

The Baobab plan is part of Reinventer Paris, a comprehensive redevelopment program for the city that is turning over 23 sites in the city to innovative urban projects. Pershing, the area which the wooden skyscrapers are proposed for, would be part of a larger eco-minded community with affordable housing, urban farming, and transportation connections. The development claims that the environmental benefit of using wood is the climate equivalent of taking 2,207 cars off the road.

The 35-story tower, "Baobab," places a heightened focus on community. With a strategic mix of market and social housing, a student hotel, urban agriculture, a bus station, e-car hub, and other amenities, the proposal hopes to "foster the city's vision for a connected, vibrant metropolis" and "define the next era of city building." A gorgeous, game-changing wood building would be well-suited in Paris, where the Eiffel Tower changed people's minds about the possibilities-and beauty-of iron as a building material over a century ago.

In previous years Norway, Canada and Austria also announced about plans to build wooden skyscrapers. In 2012 Architect Michael Green, one of three principals at "McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design", announced about plans for a 30-story wooden skyscraper in Vancouver. Two years later "Bergen Omegn Building Society" started works on the 14 story wooden structure "Treet" or "The tree", which would rise to 49 meters. This year architecture firm "Rudiger Lainer and Partner" has unveiled plans to build the 84 meters, 24 stories "HoHo" wooden tower in the Seestadt Aspern area of Vienna .