Categories ArchitecturePosted on

Playing ‘Jenga’ at the Barbican

Who would have thought that when I was a boy and I used to play ‘Jenga’, that it would one day be possible to build a timber skyscraper in the same manner? The fact is that years have passed, and the technology has been developed to do just that.

Who would have thought that when I was a boy and I used to play ‘Jenga’, that it would one day be possible to build a timber skyscraper in the same manner? The fact is that years have passed, and the technology has been developed to do just that.

Unrelated to the game of my youth (and coming back to the real world), PLP Architecture, Cambridge University and Smith and Wallwork have presented research on a 300-metre-high wooden skyscraper, to London’s former Mayor Boris Johnson, last month.

The proposal is for 1000 residential housing units to be added to the Barbican Housing estate. It would be the second tallest building in London, and the tallest timber structure in the world.


High-rise wooden constructions are on the rise because of certain benefits in comparison with other traditional building materials, such as concrete and steel. Timber proceeds from nature so it is a renewable, durable and resistant material. It is a great partner for current practices in sustainability. A tree absorbs carbon dioxide all its life, so if we transform a tree into building materials then the CO2 can be stored. 1 ton of wood can harbour 1 m3 of CO2 So, use of timber contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions and, of course, the time it takes to construct a building can also be shortened.


In comparison to the numerous steel and glass skyscrapers that dominate London’s skyline, the city can innovate in design, technology and sustainability with timber projects. Three factors that will improve the quality of life for all Londoners.

An 18‐storey timber building is currently under construction in Vancouver. It will be student residences for British Columbia University, and is set to be the highest wooden structure in the world. But its height will be nothing in comparison with the London project!

No timber building of this scale has ever been attempted, but the 21st century is the time for this kind of sustainable construction. Several similar projects around the world are emerging, but London – as always – will be on top.

Seen this week

Categories MusicPosted on

Port Cities play the Slaughtered Lamb

Canadian band PORT CITIES are still bathing in the afterglow of November’s Nova Scotia Music Week, where they scooped no less than five awards, including album of the year, digital artist of the year and entertainer of the year. SEEN has certainly been enjoying their beautiful vocals. In light of such accolades then, its only …

Categories ArtPosted on

My Furry Lady: the Art of Marion Peck at Dorothy Circus Gallery

SEEN can safely say that there is nowhere quite like Dorothy Circus Gallery in Notting Hill. It is the very antithesis of the white, clinical art gallery that abounds in the capital. From the beautiful yet disquieting pop surrealist art that is the passion of gallery director Alexandra Mazzanti, to the welcoming gallery itself complete …

Categories DesignPosted on

Faune: a free new typeface from France

SEEN has always been fascinated by typefaces, so was very interested to hear that the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (Cnap), a public establishment of the French Ministry of Culture, in partnership with the Groupe Imprimerie Nationale, has commissioned the creation of a type family. Alice Savoie was chosen by a panel of experts following …

Categories MusicPosted on

Prep release new single and play Islington Assembly Hall this Sunday

Well, if this isn’t the sound of the summer, SEEN doesn’t know what is – PREP have aired the new video for ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’, the first single to arrive from their forthcoming EP ‘Cold Fire’, due out in April 2018. Directed by Tuixen Benet (also behind the choreography for Tame Impala’s ‘The Less …

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Enjoy the Feast of St. Patrick with with a Midleton Very Rare Champagne Cocktail at Corrigan’s of Mayfair

Londoners will know how enthusiastically the city enjoys St. Patrick’s Day. For a different and very luxurious experience of this auspicious day, you might want to try a trip to one of (Irishman born and bred), Richard Corrigan’s restaurants, particularly Corrigan’s Mayfair who will be hosting a full-day celebration for St. Patrick’s Day with Irish …