Concrete Jungle Goes Back To The Wood

Cally Skinner reports on the ‘Toothpick’, due to be the world’s tallest timber building.

Timber is set to take its place next to the concrete and glass of the Barbican, when work begins shortly on London’s second highest building and the world’s tallest wooden structure, known as the ‘Toothpick’.


Photo by Eget verk , available for use under the creative commons license

The 80-storey wooden skyscraper will be 300 metres high; it will create 1,000 new residences within the Barbican estate. Blueprints for the project were presented to Mayor of London Boris Johnson in April 2016.

Researchers from Cambridge University’s department of architecture and engineering drew up revolutionary proposals for the development of tall timber buildings in central London. Without recourse to concrete or steel, construction is said to be cheaper and quicker.

The Barbican was originally designed in the 1960s to bring residential space back into the City of London.

This ambition may reach new heights with a ‘Toothpick’ that promises the end of the concrete jungle and a return to the wood.

The London skyline has already welcomed the wacky and wonderful, including the Shard, the Gherkin and the Walkie-Talkie tower.

The new wooden skyscraper will top the current world’s tallest timber building in Norway, which stands at just 14 storeys.