The world’s tallest timber residential building will soon rise to skies of Switzerland. Called Rocket & Tigerli, the building will be the tallest wooden construction in the world when completed, with an impressive maximum height of 100 meters and more than thirty stories.
Timber construction is enjoying a resurgence with the rediscovery of its architectural virtues and lower carbon footprint. However, until now it was thought that wood could only be viable for small buildings, but more and more architects are demonstrating that it is also a suitable material for large structures. The design of Rocket & Tigerli will offer modern, high-quality housing with a maximum inflow of daylight, according to its designers, the Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects.
The project marks a milestone in timber building construction because it represents an innovative construction system that uses wood as a natural replacement for concrete.Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Rocket & Tigerli is being created in collaboration with Cometti Truffer Hodel and will be located in the Swiss town of Winterthur, near Zurich. The project will include three other smaller buildings in addition to the tower, and will house residential spaces, student housing, a restaurant, retail spaces, a sky-bar and a hotel. The exterior appearance of the complex will be vegetation-covered buildings with interiors that are light-filled and open, with a décor that will emphasize the natural beauty of wood.
The exterior of the tower will be clad in terracotta (which, like wood, can be produced sustainably) and will consist of a wooden structure and a wooden core. This last point is very important, because while there are other planned hybrid wood towers that will be even taller, their hybrid nature means that they have a concrete core that houses the elevator and stairs.
The tallest existing wood building in existence today, i.e., with a wood core, is the Mjøstårnet in Norway at 85.4 meters tall. The engineers had to overcome significant challenges to reach the planned 100 meters, including the sway inherent in these structures, so Rocket & Tigerli will break new ground in the construction industry and demonstrate the feasibility of these new techniques.
The Swiss company Implenia and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, ETH, have worked together on the development of the new system, which enables the construction of taller wooden buildings.
“In the new system, the concrete core has been replaced by wood, which means that the individual beam comes in with a lower weight. This allows taller buildings to be built and, at the same time, ensures that the entire building construction process is done with a lower amount of carbon emissions,” the Danish firm stated.
Rocket & Tigerli is expected to be completed and ready for residents to move in by 2026, taking a further step towards the decarbonization of the construction industry, which is one of the sectors that emits the most CO2 into the atmosphere within its entire activity cycle.