Wood-framed ‘Plyscrapers’ Reach New Heights

A 20 storey wood-frame structure proposed by Michael Green Architecture, a Vancouver firm. If constructed, it would be the tallest timber building in the Western hemisphere. Image: MGA| | Michael Green Architecture

Quattro3 in Surrey is the tallest wood-frame structure in the Lower Mainland. The six-floor condo complex was completed in September 2012, three years after the B.C. Wood First Act lifted the four-storey height cap on wood-frame buildings. Image: Tien She

52 Whitmore Road is a six-storey cross-laminated-timber building in London, U.K., designed by Andrew Waugh, of Waugh Thistleton Architects, a leading firm in timber-frame highrise construction. Image: KLH UK

Murray Grove in London, U.K., is touted as the world’s tallest timber-frame building at 38.04 meters. The nine-storey building was constructed from 265 Spruce trees. Image: Chris Philpot, Make it Wood

Bridport House is an eight-storey apartment building in the London, U.K., borough of Hackney. The complex took twelve weeks to assemble and was completed in 2010.

Completed in December 2012, Forté Living is a 10-floor building in Melbourne, Australia’s Docklands development. Image: Chris Philpot, Make it Wood

FMO Tapiola in Espoo, Finland, is the tallest timber-frame office building in Europe. The five-floor structure was completed in September 2005.

Controversy deepened this week over what role the provincial government may have played in acquiring land for a long-promised 10-storey wood-framed office tower in Prince George. While the promised tower may never see the light of day, wood highrises are emerging around the world. Here’s a sampling of timber-framed structures that are changing our ideas about what wood can do.