Is beauty worthy of risk: the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper in Tokyo

Wooden architecture is traditional for Japan. Wood best suits the climate of this country, and small wooden houses were conveniently dismantled and constructed in another place.

Japan strictly banned use of wood in construction after the Second World War. The reason is that wood is combustible, and the territory of Japan is densely populated and prone to earthquakes.

Japan partially lifted the ban because materials from wood are improved, buildings contain fire protection. Wooden buildings do not exceed seven floors today.

However, wood, unlike concrete, has the ability to absorb ground vibrations, so wood construction is safe in a quality fire-safe treatment. In addition, wood is an ecological material, and the world strives for building ‘green’ in the largest scale.

The Japanese architectural bureau Nikken Sekkei was the first to venture and design the highest wooden skyscraper not only in Japan but also in the world. Sumitomo Forestry will develop the construction. So far, the skyscraper has only name, W350.

It is known that a skyscraper will be built in Marunouchi, Tokyo’s prestigious area. This will be a 70-storey building, being 350 meters high and containing 450 thousand square meters. The opening date of is not accidental. In 2041, Sumitomo Forestry will celebrate its 350th anniversary. Before full-fledged construction, there will appear its mini version (70 meters high, 14 floors).

Over 185,000 cubic meters of wood will be used for constructing W350. For example, this material would be enough to build 8,000 seven-story wooden houses. The cost of construction will be almost $ 6 billion.

The skyscraper will consist of residence area, shops, office and hotel premises. Its original design solutions are a garden on the roof and balconies, decorative waterfalls and fire-resistant trees on the façades.

The construction will apply specific timber that can resist open fire within three hours, as well as for the stability against earthquakes and strong wind gusts, the structure is equipped with steel. In general wood and steel are used in the following ratio: 90% wood and 10% steel (9: 1).

Currently, the highest wooden building is a 53-meter student hostel in Canada, and an 84-meter skyscraper will be opened soon in Austria.