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Will Chicago get an entirely wooden skyscraper?

Written by
Stephanie Bernstein
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Perkins+Will—the architects behind Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Rush Medical Center—have proposed a sustainable wooden skyscraper concept as part of an ongoing collaborative design project.

The River Beech Tower would be a way to explore new design potential with timber buildings, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The 80-story skyscraper would house offices behind its intricate exterior and be made of a specific variant of timber ideal for large structures, one which burns slowly in case of fire.

The detailed architectural proposal explains that the building would technically be made up of two large towers connected by wooden beams, creating a sort of atrium amenity space for guests.

This structure would dwarf the current tallest wooden building: Brock Commons, an 18-story student dorm at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Wood you work in this building?

Courtesy Perkins+Will, Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge

Courtesy Perkins+Will, Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge

Courtesy Perkins+Will, Thornton Tomasetti and the University of Cambridge

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