There’s news of a possible unique Timber Tower in the future quite close to us here at Nicks Timber, in the Welsh capital of Cardiff.
Aspiring architect Ryan Gormley thinks wooden towers could be built in the city in the next decade. He says that Cardiff’s skyline could be transformed with wooden skyscrapers that breathe in pollution over the next decade.
Ryan has designed a 25-story skyscraper which comes with office space, residential apartments and scenic gardens – but it is made entirely using Welsh timber.
The 24-year-old from Newport works for Foster and Partners – the company behind the iconic Gherkin in London – and came up with the futuristic design while studying architecture at Cardiff University .
“It’s not a relatively new concept, but it’s never been done on this scale before,” adds Ryan.
Over the past 50 years large areas of woodland in Wales have become infected with diseases, meaning thousands of trees will be chopped down by 2020.
Ryan hopes his innovative design could put the timber to good use while also reducing pollution in the city. I came up with the idea while in my fifth year at university. I wanted to look at how we could use this wood and create more sustainable designs.”
The Urban Lung is a bio-climatic tower that would be capable of absorbing carbon and other pollution. The designer says using timber would be more sustainable than other materials such as concrete or steel.
Says Ryan, “I know a lot of people would be thinking about fire risks and health and safety, especially after what happened with Grenfell Tower. But using timber can actually be safer. When steel heats up, it melts almost straight away but with timber you can easily work out how long it would take for the fire to spread. We also don’t know how long we will be able to continue using concrete for.”
Ryan, who finished his master’s degree in architecture last year, received an honourable mention in the 2018 eVolo Skyscraper competition, which saw more than 500 designs submitted by architects across the globe
But Ryan thinks it’s more realistic that timber skyscrapers would be built in Cardiff in the coming years.
“Timber is already being used to construct buildings in parts of London and in other countries, but they’re only two or three stories high.I think we could start seeing them being built in Cardiff and around the globe in the next 10 or 20 years.”