Architecture

World's tallest wooden building imagined for Paris

World's tallest wooden buildin...
MGA has conceived a 35-story mixed-use tower, dubbed Baobab, for Paris' 17th arrondissement
MGA has conceived a 35-story mixed-use tower, dubbed Baobab, for Paris' 17th arrondissement
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"Our goal is that through innovation, youthful social contact and overall community building, we have created a design that becomes uniquely important to Paris," says MGA
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"Our goal is that through innovation, youthful social contact and overall community building, we have created a design that becomes uniquely important to Paris," says MGA
If it goes ahead, the tower would include social housing, a student hotel, market, a bus station, and e-car charging points
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If it goes ahead, the tower would include social housing, a student hotel, market, a bus station, and e-car charging points
MGA has conceived a 35-story mixed-use tower, dubbed Baobab, for Paris' 17th arrondissement
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MGA has conceived a 35-story mixed-use tower, dubbed Baobab, for Paris' 17th arrondissement

The Réinventer Paris competition was conceived to promote new architectural ideas for the city's future, and provided the impetus behind Planning Korea's L’air Nouveau de Paris and Vincent Callebaut's 2050 Paris Smart City. A new entry, by Michael Green Architects, imagines the world's tallest wooden building for the city.

Details on the project are very light at this early stage, but Vancouver's MGA has conceived a 35-story mixed-use tower, dubbed Baobab, that would use the firm's wood construction methods that can reportedly outperform steel in a fire.

Located on a 6,450 sq m (69,427 sq ft) plot on Boulevard Pershing, in Paris' 17th arrondissement, the project would include the main tower and some smaller wood buildings nearby, and feature social housing, a student hotel, market, a bus station, and electric car charging points.

If it goes ahead, the tower would include social housing, a student hotel, market, a bus station, and e-car charging points
If it goes ahead, the tower would include social housing, a student hotel, market, a bus station, and e-car charging points

"Our goal is that through innovation, youthful social contact and overall community building, we have created a design that becomes uniquely important to Paris," says MGA. "Just as Gustave Eiffel shattered our conception of what was possible a century and a half ago, this project can push the envelope of wood innovation with France in the forefront. The Pershing Site is the perfect moment for Paris to embrace the next era of architecture."

The Réinventer Paris shortlist is due to be announced this (northern) summer, and the eventual winner will be given an opportunity to try and work out a deal with city officials to build their proposal.

Source: MGA via Arch Daily

6 comments
FollowTheFacts
....that makes me sick...I don't even want to read this article. – If there is one thing I intensely dislike about living in the US, it is the custom of building wood structures...to "live" in... The people thinking about building "wood structures" apparently have no idea what the actual implications are, as pertaining to "living" in such buildings... Could there possibly be anything more insanely backwards than the "idea" described in this article (to judge from headline alone – I won't read it)...it makes me physically ill....
MG48
@FollowTheFacts..............Your response reminded me of the Saturday Night Live skit where Gwyneth Paltro sang the song about rainforests being the Devil. Classic. Now I have that song stuck in my head.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
I have noticed a plethora of wood commercial buildings being built lately. The outbuildings at Antioch Crossing are entirely wood. The old Antioch Center was steel frame with concrete block curtain walls.
McDesign
Uh - what? I'd be interested in hearing why you intensely dislike the concept of living in wooden structures. I'm sitting in one from 1886 that i've lived in for a few decades; haven't noticed any issues. Yes, I understand some tradeoffs, but masonry structures at the residential level really don't make sense, from embodied energy, energy efficiency; stuff like that - here in the deep US south, humidity condensation is a problem with masonry structures because of the long thermal lag. For my home shop building, it's ICFs skinned in CorTen steel with a membrane roof over WOODEN trusses, but it has no "warmth".
bajessup
Advanced wood technology has developed dramatically in the past few years. Michael Green Architects' (Vancouver, British Columbia) proposal in this article is one example. BC hosts several advanced wood technology engineering institutions and companies, encouraged by the BC Government's "Wood First" program. The "Timber Engineering and Applied Mechanics" research group at UBC's Faculty of Forestry is itself housed in a striking large wooden campus building. The "Wood Innovation and Design Centre" is active in Prince George, BC. Netherlands has an attractive wooden highway bridge at Krusak. The longevity of large wooden structures is illustrated by the Kintai bridge in Japan, preserved under their "National Treasures" program. Odd and controversial as it may seem, massive timber construction of apartment buildings and bridges is already spreading in practice.
RESISTANCE
I got three words for you: termites, carpenter bees and NO. I had carpenter bees destroy a pressure treated deck almost in a week. Even after spraying the deck with Malathion, they came back hell bent on making a home in my supports, which ultimately needed to be replaced. There is absolutely no reason that shipping containers and engineered recycled plastic couldn't be used instead of wood. The skyscrapers in the picture look like bare wood with no covering. Wood is great for timber frame homes, but not for skyscrapers.Aside from termites and bees, it would have to withstand freeze/thaw cycles, sun, wind, acid rain, mold, and extreme humidity. Who's going to stain/cover the building with Thomson's Water Seal/Cabot's/Linseed Oil/Olympic protectant every four or five years ?