A London architectural firm has proposed a super tall wooden structure to be built in the Barbican Centre in EC2Y, near the city’s financial Square Mile. If completed, this building would be the biggest timber structure of its kind in Europe and the second tallest building in London behind The Shard.
The Brutalist Barbican Centre, which was designed in the 1950s, is home to 4,000 people. If the proposed project goes ahead, the number of available homes on the entire Barbican development will be increased dramatically.
The proposal has been put forward by PLP Architecture, which is responsible for a number of award-winning designs all over the world. The building, if completed, will be called Oakwood Tower and will reach a height in excess of 300 metres. It will dwarf London landmarks such as The Gherkin, Canary Wharf and the Heron Tower; in fact, this timber mega structure would be about the same height as the New York Times Building.
Timber: an emerging trend
PLP Architecture is not the only firm promoting this emerging trend, with the idea of returning to timber for construction purposes increasingly popular with top architects. Timber is thought to be more pleasing to the eye and also offer contrast to the skyline. Similar exterior trends used for London buildings include the use of a tensile canopy and the creation of roof gardens, with both features adding natural contrasts to the metal and glass found on most modern skyscrapers.
Co-living: a future trend?
This proposal comes after the release of a number of co-living opportunities from property company The Collective. This new phenomenon in urban living has been designed in part to answer the capital’s housing woes and offers a totally new way of doing things. The Collective currently offers co-living opportunities at its location in Willesden Green, which was also designed by PLP Architecture, where there are 550 single units available to be rented by individuals.
Each tenant has shared use of kitchen facilities, libraries, dining rooms and leisure facilities. Utility bills and even cleaning and linen washing are all included in the monthly rent and fees.
If this spectacular proposal goes ahead, London will enjoy a new and very different addition its city skyline.