Norwegian architecture firm builds the largest wooden house in the world
“We want to inspire others to build in the same way.” With the Mjøsa Tower, the team from the Norwegian architectural firm Voll Arkitekter designed the largest sustainable building in the world and showed that ecological building works on a large scale: unlike conventional skyscrapers, the 85 meter high building in Brumunddal, Norway, is made entirely of wood.
© Metsä Wood / Voll Arkitekter
Sustainable architecture meets technological progress
From a distance, the Mjøsa Tower doesn’t really look very special; it is more reminiscent of a conventional skyscraper. The building only appears really impressive when you take a closer look: both the structure and the facade are made entirely of wood. This is an important step towards a greener future for urban space. The unprecedented wood structure of the Mjøsa Tower combines traditional elements of Norwegian architecture with modern technology, which enables prefabricated components to be combined into a building in a very short time. While the combination of glulam supports, beams and diagonal elements forms the load-bearing structure of the building, the first ten floors are made of prefabricated wooden elements. The upper floor contains components made of concrete, which are used as stabilizers and are intended to prevent the building from swaying.
❞ The wood structure of the Mjøsa Tower combines traditional elements of Norwegian architecture with modern technology. ❝
Wood as the building material of the future
At over 80 meters, the Mjøsa Tower replaces the 53-meter-high Brock Commons student dormitory at the University of British Columbia, which was previously the largest wooden building in the world. Wood has enormous advantages over concrete and steel: on the one hand, the construction time can be halved by simple prefabrication and the overall significantly lower weight of the materials. On the other hand, quite surprisingly, one of the advantages of wood as a material for high-rise buildings is the ability to withstand fires. In the event of a fire, steel would e.g. begin to melt, which would result in the collapse of the building. A wooden building can withstand a full fire for at least two hours without collapsing.
© Metsä Wood / Voll Arkitekter
Sustainable architecture: in harmony with nature
The building owes its name to the largest lake in Norway, Mjøsa. Built on its banks, the Mjøsa Tower offers a breathtaking view over the water. The pattern of the facade clad with wooden panels is inspired by the movement of the water and reflects the light dances on the waves of the water surface. This creates a coherent building concept that is characterized by the properties of nature and unites them.
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