|  Lab: Building Technology, Material Performance

From Curbed’s article, “Proposed 80-story wooden skyscraper may be a preview of tall timber future”:

“In a city lined with pathbreaking towers and skyscrapers, the River Beech project, if it comes to fruition, may earn its own chapter in the history of Chicago architectural marvels. That’s because this proposed 80-story tower, a joint research project between Cambridge University, Perkins + Will, and Thornton Tomasetti would be a tall wooden tower, a landmark in the accelerating development of high-tech timber as a new type of 21st century building material.

“I don’t think there’s a height limit,” says Andy Tsay Jacobs, director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins + Will who has collaborated on the River Beech proposal. “The answer is yes, wood can go 80 stories, no problem. The issues are less on the technical side than on the code side.”

According to Tsay Jacobs and his colleague Todd Snapp, an architect and principal at Perkins + Will’s Chicago office, this is a serious design representing the firm’s belief in the material, and the potential of a new generation of tall timber towers. Designed to fit in with the firm’s Riverline project, a huge riverfront development, though it isn’t actually part of the proposal (it’s more to give it a real world site and circumstances to inform the design) the 80-story beechwood structure would be the world’s tallest wooden tower if completed… (read more)