Tall Timbers – World’s tallest wooden skyscrapers

*This is a republished and updated article from 2020.

In recent years, a new trend in high-rise construction has emerged – the development of skyscrapers constructed largely of wood products (can also referred to as mass timbercross-laminate timber, and/or engineered-wood).

Use of these natural materials have the benefits of a reduced carbon footprint (15-20% lower than steel), lighter weight (approximately 1/5 that of concrete), quicker construction times (25% faster), prefabrication, and being a renewable resource.

The list below identifies those skyscrapers (completed or under construction) which are primarily built of timber and are =/+ 100 feet in height.

  1. Ascent (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 2022) = 284 feet/25 stories
Ascent – Source: urbanmilwaukee.com/2020/03/09/eyes-on-milwaukee-worlds-tallest-timber-tower-gets-first-okay/nggallery/image/ascent-2020-rendering-2/

2. Mjøstårnet Tower (Brumunddal, Norway: 2019) = 280 feet/18 stories

Mjøstårnet Tower – Source: dezeen.com/2019/03/19/mjostarne-worlds-tallest-timber-tower-voll-arkitekter-norway/

3. HoHo Tower (Vienna, Austria: 2020) = 276 feet/24 stories

HoHo Tower – Source: cnn.com/style/article/wooden-skyscraper-revolution-timber/index.html

4. Terrace House (Vancouver, British Columbia: project halted amid construction) = 232 feet/19 stories

Terrace House – Source: bdcnetwork.com

5. Sara Cultural Centre (Skellefteå, Sweden: 2021) = 226 feet/20 stories

Sara Cultural Centre – Source: whitearkitekter.com/project/sara-cultural-centre/

6. 1510 Webster Street (Oakland, California: under construction) 187 feet/18 stories (a second matching tower is proposed next door)

1510 Webster – Source: sfyimby.com

7. Brock Commons Tallwood House (Vancouver, British Columbia: 2017) 174 feet/18 stories (hybrid timber tower with a steel and concrete core)

Brock Commons Tallwood House – Source: flickr.com

8. Treet (Bergen, Norway: 2015) = 173 feet/14 stories

Treet – Source: urbannext.net

9. Origine (Quebec City, Quebec, Canada: 2017) = 134 feet/13 stories

Origine – Source: nordic.ca/en/projects/structures/origine

10-tie. Proud Kanda Surugadai (Tokyo, Japan: 2021) = 157 feet/14 stories

10-tie. Light House (Joensuu, Finland: 2019) = 157 feet/14 stories

12. Sensation (Strasbourg, France: 2019) = 125 feet/11 stories

13. INTRO (Cleveland, OH, USA: 2022) = 115 feet/11 stories


INTRO- Source: freshwatercleveland.com/features/INTROwood100320.aspx

14. SKAIO (Heilbronn, Germany: 2019) = 112 feet/10 stories

15. Forte (Melbourne, Australia: 2012) = 105 feet/10 stories

Forte – Source: envirospec.nz

A number of other timber high-rises have been proposed worldwide, including a 12 story one in Denver which is expected to begin construction in 2023 and a nine-story, 119 foot tall residential tower in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago that will be named 2100 Southport. But, because projects are often proposed without actually being built, the list above only includes those that have been completed or are underway.

One may wonder about possible dangers of tall buildings constructed of wood, particularly fire. In some instances this has been addressed by constructing a concrete and/or steel core surrounded by mass timber or cross-laminated timber construction. Secondly, studies have shown that charred mass timber/cross-laminate timber remains very strong. In fact,

“The unburnt wood, protected by the charred wood, retains up to 100 percent of its initial strength.”

Source: Fire Performance, reThink Wood

Furthermore, studies show:

“During a fire resistance test of a 5-ply cross-laminated timber (CLT) panel wall, the panel was subjected to temperatures exceeding 1,800 Fahrenheit and lasted 3 hours and 6 minutes, far more than the two-hour rating that building codes require.”

Source: http://www.thinkwood.com/news/4-things-to-know-about-mass-timber

As more information has become available, building codes across the country are being updated/modified to allow taller mass timber structures than were previously permitted.


Links to addition information on proposed timber towers that are not included above:

This entry was posted in architecture, art, Canada, cities, downtown, economic development, environment, Europe, geography, history, Housing, infrastructure, land use, nature, new urbanism, North America, Oceania, placemaking, planning, revitalization, skylines, skyscrapers, spatial design, States, Statistics, sustainability, Travel, urban planning, zoning and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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