24-storey wood con­struc­tion land­mark to be built in Vi­enna

Australasian Timber - - FRAME -

CON­STRUC­TION OF the world’s tallest wood high-rise will be­gin this spring in Vi­enna, Aus­tria. When com­pleted in 2017, the HoHo build­ing will have 24 storeys. To­day, the tallest wood high-rise is a 14-storey res­i­den­tial build­ing un­der con­struc­tion in Ber­gen, Nor­way. Ac­cord­ing to ar­chi­tect Rudi­ger Lainer, tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial readi­ness of wood con­struc­tion makes it pos­si­ble to realise the project. “Our in­no­va­tive goal is to realise syn­ergy in ar­chi­tec­ture, ecol­ogy and the build­ing’s us­age value for its res­i­dents and other oc­cu­pants. In ad­di­tion, wood of­fers an im­por­tant vis­ual and tac­tile im­pact.

“The start­ing point is to realise the build­ing as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble. We com­bine wood con­struc­tion with con­crete con­struc­tion and with this syn­ergy we strive for the best pos­si­ble so­lu­tion from the stand­point of build­ing reg­u­la­tions, qual­ity, cost-ef­fi­ciency, fire safety and flex­i­bil­ity,” Lainer ex­plains.

To en­sure cost-ef­fi­ciency, RLP Ar­chi­tects wanted to use wood struc­tures as a start­ing point in the most ef­fec­tive pos­si­ble floor plan so­lu­tion. The tow­ers are hybrid struc­tures. Con­crete stair tow­ers re­in­force their cores, where the lift and in­stal­la­tion shafts are also lo­cated. Of­fices and other spaces around the stair tower are wood struc­tures that bear their own weight.

The aim has been to utilise the best fea­tures of each ma­te­rial ac­cord­ing to load-bear­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, fire safety as well as com­fort in house­holds and other spaces. This has en­abled meet­ing the im­por­tant func­tional re­quire­ments for a tall build­ing, in­clud­ing strict con­struc­tion reg­u­la­tions. About 74% of the struc­tures above the foun­da­tion are wood.”

“Wood is a nat­u­ral choice in Aus­tria, be­cause more of it grows than is used. Wood is cost-ef­fec­tive, it saves re­sources, it has high ac­cept­abil­ity and wood sur­faces cre­ate a nat­u­ral at­mo­sphere in in­door spaces. We have de­vel­oped a tech­ni­cal wood con­struc­tion sys­tem that en­ables con­struc­tion of tall build­ings,” Lainer stresses.

“Solid wood, pre­fab­ri­cated mod­ules en­able a fa­cade de­sign with very di­verse ex­pres­sions.”

Goal is a long life-cy­cle, ecol­ogy and econ­omy

The wood high-rise is lo­cated in Seestadt Aspern north­east of Vi­enna by the Seepark park. RLP Ar­chi­tects Rüdi­ger Lainer+Part­ner is de­vel­op­ing a new city block in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion. Lake­side build­ings are lower and those far­ther away are taller, which Lainer says is an im­por­tant el­e­ment in the lake’s sil­hou­ette. “Of course it’s not just a ques­tion of how the area looks from far­ther away, but also of what ev­ery­day life is like in a tall wood build­ing in the block.

“Solid wood, pre­fab­ri­cated mod­ules en­able a fa­cade de­sign with very di­verse ex­pres­sions. Al­ter­nat­ing open and closed sur­faces of­fer both views and pri­vacy. The ap­pear­ance of the fa­cade is rem­i­nis­cent of bark, and fits in well with Vi­enna’s Seestadt Aspern,” Lainer says of the project.

Ac­cord­ing to Lainer, the build­ing’s mul­ti­fac­eted uses and the flex­i­bil­ity of its struc­tures com­ple­ment each other. In ad­di­tion to flats, the build­ing will house a spa, of­fices and restau­rants.

“Struc­tures that can be com­bined and di­ver­sity of room spaces cre­ated the build­ing’s high us­age value. We can make changes later to how the build­ing is used, de­pend­ing on the mar­ket sit­u­a­tion and oc­cu­pants’ needs.

“The flex­i­ble and user-friendly floor plan di­vi­sion gives the build­ing a long us­age life. A long life cy­cle is an im­por­tant fac­tor in ef­fi­cient sus­tain­abil­ity when the aim is to find a bal­ance be­tween econ­omy and ecol­ogy,” Lainer says. “Use of room space is usu­ally in­flex­i­ble due to fixed, mas­sive walls. We want a flex­i­ble con­struc­tion sys­tem and pas­sive build­ing sta­tus.”

Lainer’s goal is to con­struct a build­ing where peo­ple can ex­pe­ri­ence wood. “Wood is part of the space’s at­mo­sphere, which pro­motes the oc­cu­pant’s well-be­ing. The fun­da­men­tal idea of the build­ing is that we don’t want to fol­low a trend, and ma­te­ri­als’ ba­sic char­ac­ter­is­tics are em­pha­sised. For oc­cu­pants and passers-by, this tall wood build­ing will be­come part of ev­ery­day life. Our goal is for the build­ing to be ex­pe­ri­enced as hu­mane, and the lights there won’t go out at six p.m.”

RLP Rüdi­ger Lainer+Part­ner Ar­chi­tects was es­tab­lished in Vi­enna in 1985. With more than 30 com­pleted projects, the of­fice has broad-rang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with of­fice and res­i­den­tial build­ing con­struc­tion, ren­o­va­tion of old build­ings, con­vert­ing loft space into flats, in­dus­trial con­struc­tion, en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre con­struc­tion as well as school and kinder­garten con­struc­tion. RLP has re­alised lead­ing projects in ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, struc­tural con­cepts, served as the pri­mary de­signer in projects and as a con­struc­tion co­or­di­na­tor.

The HoHo build­ing’s pri­mary con­trac­tor is Ce­tus Baude­vel­op­ment GmbH, whose chief engi­neer is Caro­line Palfy. The Kerbler group is in­vest­ing about 65 mil­lion euros in the project. The to­tal sur­face area of the build­ing is 25,000 square me­tres, of which 19,500 square me­tres will be rented.

“Wood is cost­ef­fec­tive, it saves re­sources, it has high ac­cept­abil­ity and wood sur­faces cre­ate a nat­u­ral at­mo­sphere in in­door spaces.”

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