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Transforming Cities into Forests: Sumitomo Forestry’s Big Bet
The Japanese company Sumitomo Forestry, founded in 1691, celebrated its 350th anniversary in a big way with the W350 project. The 350-meter, 71-story timber high-rise is being designed for 2041! The building will be built from a hybrid structure composed mainly of timber (90%) and steel. This composition will allow the building to resist deformations due to the wind and earthquakes, to which Japan is heavily exposed.
Beyond the technical achievement that it represents, W350 represents a desire to develop a comfortable, pleasant environment for those who live there as well as for the surrounding city. The idea is to transform cities into forests by integrating large-scale timber buildings that themselves include vegetation so that the whole ensemble can foster cities’ biodiversity. This “city-forest” concept is developed at the Tsukuba Research Institute which is working on timber’s possibilities in construction to develop methods and technologies that respect the environment.