Highest wooden residential tower in the world under construction

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Written by Amarachi Orie, CNN

Switzerland will be home to the world’s tallest wooden residential building.

The project, called Rocket&Tigerli, will consist of four buildings, including one with a 100-meter tower. The development will be built in the Swiss city of Winterthur, which is near Zurich.

According to the designers, the Danish office Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects (SHL), the design offers modern, high-quality homes with a maximum influx of daylight. It will also seek to create an active neighborhood that will be “rooted in the area’s historical context,” according to a company press release. For example, the facade is clad in dark red and yellow terracotta bricks combined with dusty green-coloured details, matching the red roofs and yellow bricks of the older buildings in the area.

Named Rocket&Tigerli after locomotives once produced on the development site, the building will be built in Winterthur. Credit: Aesthetics Studio/Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

“We approach this project with a great sense of humility,” said Kristian Ahlmark, partner and design director at SHL, in the press release.

“It is a major project that will have a significant impact on the community, both socially and aesthetically. Due to Switzerland’s strong expertise in wood construction, we are extremely proud to be working on this groundbreaking project.”

The four buildings will include housing as well as retail spaces, a sky bar and a hotel. It is expected to be completed and ready for residents in 2026.

The 100 meter high construction follows a system in which a concrete core is replaced by wood.

The 100 meter high construction follows a system in which a concrete core is replaced by wood. Credit: Aesthetics Studio/Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

The project marks a milestone in timber building construction, SHL said. The company added that at 100 meters it is setting the record for residential buildings with load-bearing timber construction, and “introducing an innovative construction system that explores wood as a natural replacement for concrete.”

According to the designers, the building offers modern, high-quality homes with a maximum influx of daylight.

According to the designers, the building offers modern, high-quality homes with a maximum influx of daylight. Credit: Aesthetics Studio/Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

“This makes it possible to build taller structures while at the same time ensuring that the entire building process achieves a lower amount of embedded carbon,” the press release said.

Ahlmark added: “We have always been proactive in our use of the material (wood), not only because of its aesthetic qualities, but also because of the technical construction possibilities it opens up. The new production method presented in this project brings our love for the material in a modern building.”

SHL competed with eight other architectural firms around the world to design the building. Earlier this year, the design proposal was chosen as the winner – in part because of its open block structure.

The jury stated in its assessment: “By dissolving the original block structure and integrating the free-standing buildings, a larger facade surface and thus more daylight is achieved, as well as a stronger connection with the environment.”

The wide range of facilities is designed to energize the neighborhood throughout the day, bringing life to the clear passages and green open plaza orchestrated by the four buildings, SHL said.

The wide range of facilities is designed to energize the neighborhood throughout the day, bringing life to the clear passages and green open plaza orchestrated by the four buildings, SHL said. Credit: Aesthetics Studio/Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

SHL’s design was developed in close collaboration with local Swiss architecture studio Cometti Truffer Hodel.

The project joins other architectural firms looking to prove that wood can be used as a sustainable alternative to concrete and steel when building high-rise buildings. The 280m high Mjøstårnet Tower in the Norwegian city of Brumunddal became the world’s tallest wooden building when it opened in 2019. The 18-storey building contains apartments, office space and the aptly named Wood Hotel.



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