London’s first timber skyscraper could be a step closer to reality after researchers presented Mayor of London Boris Johnson with conceptual plans for an 80-storey, 300 metre high wooden building integrated within the Barbican.

Smith and Wallwork collaborated with researchers from Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture (Dr Michael Ramage and Rob Foster) and PLP Architecture (Ron Bakker and Kevin Flanagan) to develop research on the future development of tall timber buildings in central London.

Smith and Wallwork carried out structural engineering analysis of a number of different frame concepts using massive timber elements that would see some 65,000m3 of engineered timber support London first timber skyscraper. The final design utilised a buttressed mega-truss solution with 2.5m x 2.5m timber columns and 1.75m thick timber walls. Despite using significant volumes of timber the structure would be 4x lighter than an equivalent concrete frame tower.

Images courtesy PLP Architecture