SHoP Architects has designed a 10-storey residential tower in Manhattan that is set to become the city’s tallest building constructed from structural timber.
Called 475 West 18th Street, the building is slated to rise in the Chelsea neighbourhood. It was designed by New York-based SHoP in collaboration with the engineering firm Arup and environmental consultancy Atelier Ten.The building will sit opposite the High Line, the popular elevated park that has spurred a real-estate boom in the area. Projects by Zaha Hadid,Norman Foster, Kohn Pedersen Fox and other architects are now underway in the district.
SHoP’s building – which will contain 15 apartments with two, three or four bedrooms – stands apart for its wooden structural system.“To celebrate the unique nature of the project, the timber structure will be exposed where appropriate, exhibiting its natural beauty and strength,” said the New York-based firm, which has also designed super-tall towers forManhattan and Brooklyn.
“The extensive use of other wood products throughout will help set ambitious sustainability targets in design, construction and operation.”
Wood is taking over from steel and concrete as the architectural wonder material of the 21st century, with new types of engineered timber allowing architects to build bigger and higher.
SHoP’s building is intended to serve as a “model for the industry, demonstrating an innovative approach to construction by going beyond the typical, limited palette of materials and systems available for high-rise construction”.
It will be the first in New York City to use modern mass wood systems and the tallest in the city to use structural timber, according to the firm. The project still needs to gain approval from the city’s building department.
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