Wood is a renewable resource, and wood construction sequesters carbon for the life of the building, and new technologies are letting architects design taller and safer buildings. There have only been a few timber towers built to date, but there are more on the boards, some as tall as thirty storeys. A new design competition for architecture students and recent graduates in the US and Canada is looking for new ideas for working with wood.
It isn't just about the building, either; a site has been picked in Red Hook, Brooklyn, described as " an industrial and residential area that is currently in flux" and the program includes a requirement for a bike sharing and repair shop and and a " a cutting edge, digitally-based laboratory for the exploration of manufacturing processes."
Aspiring to regenerate a dissipating urban manufacturing sector and address the housing needs of New York City, entrants will be asked to design a place for the creation of originative vocational opportunities embracing new wood technology. Entrants will be challenged to propose construction systems in scenarios that draw optimally on the performance characteristics of a variety of wood technologies.
The competition is being run by Parsons the New School of Design, the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (The Rethink Wood people). From the press release:
At Parsons, our students and faculty have seen firsthand how wood can serve as an ideal green building material in an urban setting,” said Andrew Bernheimer, director of the Master of Architecture program at Parsons. “It has become clear to us that wood is not only environmentally friendly, but also affordable.
More information on the competition is available at the ACSA website. This will be one to watch.