Timber skyscraper takes root in the Netherlands

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Haut will rise to a height of 73 m (240 ft) and is expected to be completed by 2019(Credit: Team V Architectuur)

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Love them or loathe them, wooden skyscrapers are on the rise, especially in Europe and North America. This latest example is designed by Team V Architectuur and will rise to 21 floors in Amsterdam. Dubbed Haut, the project is due to begin construction in late 2017.

Expected to be completed in 2019, the 73 m (240 ft)-tall building will likely be the tallest timber tower in the Netherlands, perhaps in Europe, and even possibly in the world, though it's just as likely that another firm will build something taller in the meantime.

However, to put the size of these timber towers into perspective, the (non-wooden) Burj Khalifa is over 10 times taller, at 830 m (2,723 ft), including tip. Indeed, the only wooden skyscraper we've seen with serious height is PLP's 300 m (984 ft)-tall Barbican skyscraper, but that's just a concept with no immediate plans to build.

Haut is short for for Haute Couture, and developers plan to offer would-be occupants lots of options for their pad, including the number of floors, apartment layout, placement of double-height spaces, optional balconies, and the like. Renders depict a plush-looking apartment with generous glazing that makes the most of the natural beauty of the building material with unfinished sections.

There will be 55 apartments in all, plus cycle storage space, an underground car park and an urban winter garden open to the public.

Structurally, in common with other timber towers (like the Tall Wood Building and the Periscope Tower), the building will feature CLT (or cross-laminated timber), prefabricated panels that are very light and strong, are relatively quick to assemble, and perform well in a fire situation.

Sustainable design planned for the tower includes a wastewater purification system and what the firm describes as "energy-generating facades," which could take the form of wind turbines or solar panels. The project is also aiming for a BREEAM Outstanding rating, the green building standard's top grade.

Haut is part of a larger development for the area called Amstelkwartier, which will comprise around 4,000 new residential units, plus commercial and retail areas. The project also involves engineering firm Arup, developers Lingotto, and investor Nicole Maarsen.

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