Destination Japan

The World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper Is Coming to Japan

Japan wants to reach the sky and be the vanguard of contemporary architecture. Japanese wood products manufacturer Sumitomo Forestry plans to build the W350, a 350-meter-high wooden skyscraper in the center of the capital, Tokyo. The construction of the building will take more than 20 years, 2041 is the year that will see the culmination of the tallest wooden skyscraper in the world.

As if it were a kind of tree trunk that grows towards the sky, the structure of the 70-story building is composed mostly of wood and will be covered with different types of plants that will climb around it. 90% of the building is built with this material while the rest is steel, which allows controlling the vibrations of the tremors (something common in the country). The company Nikken Sekkei LTD, the most important independent architecture company in Japan, collaborated in its design.

The company estimates that the project will cost about 600 trillion yen (4.533 billion euros), almost twice what it would cost to build a normal building with those characteristics. However, by 2041, the company calculates that the technology will have advanced in such a way that costs will be cheaper, just the year of thecelebration of its 350th anniversary.

Japan will be the first country to have such a tall wooden building, until now there was only one building of this type in Vancouver (Canada), the Brock Commons Tallwood House, an 18-story student residence whose construction was completed at the end of last year. And it measures 53 meters. In Chicago, a wooden tower is also being built but 244 meters high.

The company wants to “convert cities into forests,” he said in a statement. The waterfalls and abundant foliage will make the interior of the W350 a lush forest. It will have 455,000 square meters that will house apartments, offices, and shops, and it will also be built with wood. The company argues that increasing the demand for wood, which will damage the environment, will help to revitalize forests. The Japanese government has been encouraging the use of wood for some time, and in 2010 it even approved a law to promote wood in public buildings.

The W350 will also be fireproof. The wood with which it will be built can withstand the flames for three hours, and the water from its waterfalls and plants will prevent the building from burning easily.

In order to build a building of this height, the company will first build a smaller building, about 70 meters high and 14 floors, on which the other will be built.

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