Landmark timber skyscraper to be built in Amsterdam

A new type of building structure will rise on the banks of the Amstel River with the announcement of HAUT, Amsterdam’s tallest residential timber tower, due to start construction in 2017.

Making use of new innovations in wooden building materials, the 73 metre-tall tower will comprise 21 floors and 55 residential apartments.

The brainchild of Dutch firm Team V Architectuur (Rotterdam Central Station), the timber tower is tapping into a hotly-discussed trend for wooden constructions, which is driven by a greater awareness of sustainability and advances in alternative building materials.

Old ingredients, new ideas

The development of a new material, known as Mass Timber, provides the key to the viability of such a large-scale wooden structure, as it provides the structural strength necessary within a high-rise building.

Mass Timber is made of engineered solid panels of laminated timber layers. The cross-lamination of different stratas of wood creates a far tougher and stronger material than the regular framing used in conventional houses.

Mass Timber panels can have a length of up to 20 metres, and a thickness of up to 40 cm, or even more. Research conducted by engineering firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has found that this material is structurally suitable for buildings of up to 30 stories, even in areas with seismic activity. To further strengthen the structure, concrete connecting joints or steel reinforcing may be used.

Environmental considerations

The HAUT tower marks an important step in the direction of carbon-neutral urban development.

Team V claims that more than three million kilogrammes of C02 will be stored in the timber structure and additional eco-friendly compenents of the building will include energy generating facades and wastewater collection and treatment.

The architects state that these features will qualify the building for a BREEAM Outstanding Rating, the highest and most recognised sustainability rating in Europe.

Recent reports on wooden structures by architectural firms such as SOM and Michael Green Architects (MGA) highlighted the huge environmental impact caused by the production and transportation of concrete.

The reports also discussed the exciting potential of wooden materials which, when replacing conventional steel and concrete, could reduce the carbon footprint of building construction by 60 to 75 percent.

Tailor-made architecture

Besides its impressive environmental credentials, HAUT also offers extensive freedom of choice to buyers who want to customise their new home.

This haute couture, or tailor-made, approach to architecture means that residents will be able to determine factors such as the size and layout of their apartment, the number of floors and the placement of balconies, loggias and elevated ceilings.

The building will also feature communal and public spaces such as Hortus, a winter greenhouse and garden; and the Innovation Lab, a demonstration centre hosted by the Netherlands Energy Company (NLE) to showcase new developments in nutrition, energy and construction.

The home of HAUT

HAUT will be located in the new Amstelkwartier between Oud-Zuid and Watergrafsmeer. This new residential district will host some 4.000 new homes in addition to schools and centres for shopping and small businesses.

The apartment block will look out across the River Amstel and adjoins the recently completed Somerlust Park. Construction is expected to start in the second half of 2017 and reach completion in 2019.

Want to live in Amsterdam’s tallest wooden tower? You can sign up as a potential buyer here.

Landmark timber skyscraper to be built in Amsterdam

Landmark timber skyscraper to be built in Amsterdam

Beatrice Clarke


Beatrice Clarke

Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independent publishing and fashion, Beatrice honed her understanding of Dutch language and culture working...

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