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Timber! Switzerland Will Soon Be Home to the World’s Tallest Wooden Tower

The wooden Rocket&Tigeli building will stand 328 feet tall when it is completed in 2026.

Rocket&Tigeli Building Interior Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Tired of all the steel-and-concrete towers that have dominated cityscapes for decades? A new building in Switzerland will soon offer an alternative.

The Rocket&Tigeli is a 328-foot wooden structure that’s part of a complex being built in the Swiss city of Winterthur. Architecture firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen is responsible for the design, which will be built over the next four years. When it’s completed in 2026, the structure will stand as the world’s tallest residential tower with a load-bearing structure made of timber, exceeding the height of the current record holder, Norway’s 280-foot Mjøstårnet building.

To fit in with the rest of its locale, the timber skyscraper will be covered in dark red and yellow terracotta bricks that mirror those used in the structures of historical buildings in the area. The tower is also named for locomotives that were formerly built at the site. The bigger complex will include four individual buildings arranged in a tight configuration.

Rocket&Tigeli Building Walkway

A rendering of one of the property’s walkways and facilities.  Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Each of the complex’s buildings will have its own look and height. The units will also be used for a variety of different reasons, including both regular and student housing. There will also be a restaurant, retail spaces, a sky-bar, spa and a verdant green plaza designed for the complex’s residents.

Rocket&Tigeli marks a new milestone in the construction of timber buildings—not just because of its record-setting height, but also because it uses wood as a natural replacement for concrete. Swiss company Implenia and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich, ETH, worked together to develop the system, according to Schmidt Hammer Lassen.

Rocket&Tigeli Building Courtyard

The lush green plaza envisioned for the community.  Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

“In the new system, the concrete core has been replaced with wood, resulting in the fact that the individual beam comes in at a lower weight,” the firm writes on its website. “This makes it possible to build taller constructions while, at the same time, ensures that the entire building process achieves a lower amount of embedded carbon.”

There’s still a long way to go, but you can monitor the project’s process through Schmidt Hammer Lassen‘s website. Who knows, maybe timber towners will star to catch on.

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