Mixed material arts is a new league among high-rises with the purpose of giving timber a fighting chance! The shift in the automotive industry from a combustion engine to a full electric drivetrain didn’t happen overnight. The question is whether it would have happened at all if there hadn’t been for the hybrid – partially electric vehicles. The first hybrids debuted 25 years ago! A quarter of a century was needed for the customers to trust the new system, and a quarter of a century was needed for the industry to develop the necessary know-how to confidently move to a new era of products. The benefits of the use of CLT and glulam in the construction has long been evident in the industry. Massively reduced carbon emission, flexible construction and easily replenishable material source are just a few trump cards in the argument supporting this direction. In a rapidly urbanizing world the necessity for more sustainable buildings in high density cities is ever more pressing. However, we see a very slow progress or shift towards this possible and readily available alternative – timber as a structural backbone for high-rises and skyscrapers.
The proposition responding to this problem is to create a hybrid category of load bearing structures for skyscrapers, that would allow a gentler yet steady and confident transition to CLT or other innovative timber products. Gradually transferring the load from sustainable concrete to mass timber. After a quarter of a century of successful experimentation and adaptation, taking out a mortgage on a 57th story apartment in a fully timber skyscraper will be an ordinary matter. At the same time developers will routinely plan, build and offer a lifetime warranty on these projects.
The choice of the location of the first proposed hybrid mass timber skyscraper in the world was pretty straightforward. Northern America has an abundant supply of quality timber. The local construction industry is familiar with prefab and assembly on site. Besides, New York is a role model for the world in constructing high-rises.
Full mass timber vs. Hybrid construction Reinforced concrete structures remain the main load bearing elements of the tower, thus enabling greater confidence at such construction heights.
100mTallest ever designed timber tower, currently in construction.
Office to ResidentialSmaller footprint timber tower top floors of executive offices are convertible to residential units. With a dwindling demand for office spaces worldwide, developers need to future proof towers by planning for convertibility.
PRINCIPAL DESIGNERCsaba Babud
DEVELOPMENT NAMEMMA Tower
LOCATIONNew York City, US
PROJECT STAGESDesign Competition
VISUALSAlvaro A. & ARDF Studio