Architects challenged to expand existing urban buildings with wood

By Catherine Sturman
An international competition has been set for designers to provide solutions in which wood can be utilised to develop existing buildings in order to pro...

An international competition has been set for designers to provide solutions in which wood can be utilised to develop existing buildings in order to provide housing for the increased urban population.

It has been predicted that by 2050, over 2/3 of the worlds population will be living in cities, in which there is an increased need for architects to formulate a solution.

The international competition expands on Metsä Wood’s project Plan B, where entrants have been asked to find a sustainable and creative solution to counteract such challenges, which will in turn benefit both citizens and the environment. The challenge must incorporate buildings from major cities, such as London, Berlin, Paris, Shanghai and Washington..

Michael Green from Vancouver-based Michael Green Architects said: “We need to start building up, and stop tearing down. We have an alternative. A building extension constructed with a timber frame can be a fast, sustainable and inexpensive solution”. Wood is an innovative material that can be utilised by building additional floors to existing structures, whilst preserving the architectural features of original designs.

Research has shown that approximately ¼ of existing buildings can have extra floors made of wood built on top of existing structures, making it a promising material to build sustainable space to cater for the needs of the economy, whilst ensuring there is limited impact upon traditional designs.

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