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.

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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.

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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

Oscar Jerome Headlines at the Montague Arms London in January 2018

SEEN has been enjoying the music of South London artist Oscar Jerome, who has confirmed release details for the ‘Subdued EP’ – due out January 26, 2018 – alongside a video for the title track & lead single. This new four-track collection will follow Oscar’s 2016 self-titled debut EP, which drew praise from the likes …

Categories ArtPosted on

Focus Ldn at the Menier: Winter Exhibition

Tom Cox is fast becoming one of the hottest young curators on the London art scene. Often to be found sketching along the South Bank and in Brixton, the city has long been a major source of inspiration for him. Together with talented artists also living and working in London, Tom now mounts a Winter …

Categories NewsPosted on

The Georg Jensen Christmas Tree at the Royal Exchange

If you find yourself at the historic Royal Exchange, do be sure to pop in and have a look at the Georg Jensen Christmas Tree. It was unveiled recently by former Spice Girl and National Treasure, Emma Bunton. If you’ve never been, the Royal Exchange a luxury shopping destination in the heart of the city.

Categories EntertainmentPosted on

Ajax at the Space: Ripples Spreading Outwards

It is astonishing to think that Sophocles’ famous play Ajax has as much relevance today as it did when it was first written and performed 2000 years ago. The terrible effects of war on mental health echo down the centuries in Esmond Productions’ gender-bending version, with women playing all the roles. Post-traumatic stress disorder wreaks …