“As mass-timber structures become a bigger part of the construction business, we are seeing more and more fascinating new buildings emerge”
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you will already know that timber is becoming a more and more popular building material for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most important driver of this uptick in popularity is timber’s ability to fight climate change. But its positive impact on our health and wellness, and its beautiful natural appearance and versatility also make it an attractive choice.
As a result of these trends, we are seeing more and more ambitious, mass-timber structure buildings being made. Without further ado, here are eleven of the upcoming projects that have caught our eye. Just click on each building’s name to learn more about it and check out some incredible pictures.
Forest Green Rovers’ new stadium in England, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and dubbed Eco Park, will make history as the first football stadium ever constructed entirely out of timber. The studio claims that the 5,000-seat venue’s overhanging roof, construction, and cladding would all be made of wood. It is also intended to be run on renewable energy to be consistent with the team’s beliefs after being named the greenest football club in the world by FIFA.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen is currently constructing the world’s highest wooden structure in Switzerland. The 100-meter tower’s load-bearing frame and core will be made of timber.
It will be finished in 2026 and will have a terracotta exterior and join two adjacent buildings. When put together, this will be a full-fledged commercial and residential complex.
In Gothenburg, Sweden, Volvo will open an experience hub and gathering area in this mass-timber edifice. Glulam will be used for the building’s columns and beams, while cross-laminated timber (CLT) will be used for the floor slabs. The architects, Henning Larsen Architects, claim that their goal was to “set a new standard for the many ways we can use timber in architecture” with this building.
One of the biggest residential mass-timber constructions in Canada, Timber House was designed by Adjaye Associates. It will have a unique gridded facade with planted balconies, and once completion it will house both low-income families and older persons. Toronto’s Quayside development, which will also include structures designed by Alison Brooks Architects and Henning Larsen Architects, aspires to be “the first all-electric, zero-carbon community at this scale” thanks in part to the work of these firms.
Dock A, the mass-wood terminal designed by BIG and HOK for Zurich airport, will be built using Swiss-sourced timber. The primary support will be provided by V-shaped wooden columns, lending the building a natural aesthetic that pays homage to the country’s rich history of wood architecture. Big partner Martin Voelkle remarked on how the airport’s use of natural light, biophilia, and a soothing colour palette helped to change travellers’ perceptions of airports.
The Tilburg University Lecture Hall in the Netherlands is being designed by Powerhouse Company with the goal of creating a circular architecture that avoids waste and pollution. Demountable and recyclable materials, such as 4.6 km of structural wood beams and the hanging limestone facade panels, will be used in the construction of the cube-shaped structure.
Living Landscape is a mixed-use structure set to finish construction in 2026 on a former landfill in Reykjavk. The architects, Jakob+MacFarlane and T.ark, claim that once it is finished, it will be the “largest wooden building in Iceland” because of its CLT construction. The studio hopes that by using renewable energy sources in addition to timber, the building may have zero net-lifetime carbon emissions.
The sculptural Naples Underground Central Station, now under construction in Italy, will include large, undulating pieces of glulam. The wood was chosen by the Barcelona firm EMBT so as to “introduce a piece of nature” to the adjacent Centro Direzionale neighbourhood, which was built by the Japanese architect Kenzo Tange in the 1970s.
Alison Brooks Architects also has a student centre at the University of Cambridge on the list. Copper cladding will hide the exposed CLT and glulam construction within. The carbon trapped by the lumber “will more than offset the emissions from regulated carbon emissions produced by building services installations and unregulated carbon emissions from day-to-day building use,” the design firm said.
Dublin’s mass-timber expansion to an old mill is one of the most unique projects on the list and, once finished, will be one of the tallest timber buildings in Europe. Dock Mill, an Urban Agency project, will make use of CLT to facilitate and speed up building on the constrained waterside site. The firm plans a “modern take on the glasshouse” for the new addition by enclosing its timber framework in a double-skin glass façade.
Alongside the Pirellino office building from the 1950s, construction on a green-walled tower with a mass-timber frame has begun in Milan. It is part of a larger refurbishment project of the existing Gio Ponti-designed structure, to which it will be connected through a multi-story glass bridge designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Stefano Boeri Architetti. It will have 1,700 square metres of green walls that shift colour with the seasons, complementing its timber frame.
We hope you find these upcoming buildings as inspiring as we do. If you’re looking for the perfect timber to use in your next project (even if it’s not the world’s first all-timber football stadium, or one of the tallest timber buildings in Europe) give Quercus a call on 0845 50 50 311. Our team has decades of experience at picking the right timber for a variety of uses, and we will be happy to help.