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Empire State Building made of Wood

Architect Michael Green and Metsä Wood re-think New York’s landmark

Under the code "Plan B", Finnish wood producer Metsä Wood is currently rethinking famous international landmarks and buildings by using wood-based building materials. “Plan B” is also intended to question widespread prejudice against timber construction and explore all the various possibilities it offers.

Visionary Michael Green plans wooden skyscraper

Now Metsä Wood ventures into lofty hights in cooperation with the Canadian architect Michael Green: Together they intend to rebuild New York’s 381m high Empire State Building virtually – out of wood. Michael Green, who has already gained international recognition for his high-rise designs made of wood, is responsible for the design and construction plans. "Many things have changed in the last 85 years [since the opening of the Empire State Building, editor's note]. But like in those days, today architects are trying to formulate new ideas about structure, energy consumption, climate change and a long list of other things. For this reason and as a case study, the classical building of modernity par excellence was chosen as object in Plan B: The Empire State Building. For the design of the skyscraper we selected Metsä Woods engineer wood Kerto LVL as the main building material – from the floors up to the column spacing", said Green. He is firmly convinced that high-rise buildings made of wood are not only feasible, but also represent the most practical and environmentally friendly response to the rapid global urbanization and the climate change.

Building the future of wood

"I think the future belongs to tall buildings made of wood. Significant progress was made in the areas of wood-based materials and industrial prefabrication of wood components which have led to a new vision of what is possible when it comes to safe and high urban constructions. The challenge now is to change how society is viewing that what is technically feasible", said Green.

Other wooden designs pending

Metsä Wood keeps all interested parties informed on its Website about the current status of the Plan B. In addition to the Empire State Building, still more wooden redesigns of iconic buildings will be presented soon.

Autor: Kathrin Lanz, translated by Robert Spannlang
18.06.2015, 08:55 MEZ

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