Architects want to build an 80-storey skyscraper in Chicago made entirely from wood -- take a look

Exterior balconiesPerkins + WillA rendering of the River Beech Tower for Chicago, Illinois.

Most skyscrapers are behemoths of steel, glass, and reinforced concrete.

As part of an ongoing project, researchers at Cambridge University, architects at Perkins + Will, and engineers at Thornton Tomasetti are proposing a timber skyscraper, called the River Beech Tower, in Chicago, Illinois.

The team sees the wooden tower concept as an especially sustainable type of architecture since the material is renewable.

Take a look at their proposal below.

The River Beech Tower would be located along the Chicago River, according to Andy Tsay Jacobs, director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins + Will.

Perkins + Will

The 80-storey skyscraper, made entirely from wood, would feature an intricate facade ...

Perkins + Will

... and serve as an office building.

Perkins + Will

On the outset, a wooden skyscraper sounds like it would be a dangerous place during a fire. But Jacobs said that generally, mass timber burns very slowly.

Perkins + Will

The material has a thick layer of wood that is 'designed to withstand structural loads even after other layers have burned off,' he added.

While the River Beech Tower may never be built, the designers aim to explore how a super-tall, wooden skyscraper might be developed in the future.

Perkins + Will

Brock Commons, an 18-story student dorm at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, is currently the tallest wooden building in existence.

Forestry Innovation Investment

Source: Wired

It features a timber interior designed by Acton Astry Architects, and can house 404 students.

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The River Beech Tower designers say that it could represent the future of sustainable architecture.

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'By 2050, it is projected that the number of people living in urban areas will double,' Jacobs said. 'To meet the demand for more building stock, architects and builders should consider using wood, because it is a renewable resource that can perform at skyscraper scale.'

Perkins + Will

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