tokyo plans world's tallest wooden skyscraper by 2041

tokyo plans world's tallest wooden skyscraper by 2041

japanese developer sumitomo forest has joined forces with architectural designers nikken sekkei, announcing plans for the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper. the 1,148-foot (350 metre) skyscraper is set to be completed by 2041 and is located in central tokyo.


UPDATE: this project was shortlisted in the ‘experimental – future project’ category at the 2018 world architecture festival.

all images courtesy of sumitomo



the timber skyscraper forms part of the W350 project, a mixed use environmentally friendly development whose completion will mark sumitomo‘s 350th anniversary. the concept has been prepared by sumitomo’s tsukuba research institute which the company hopes will help ‘transform the city into a forest’.




the plan will see 70 storeys comprising of steel and timber covering 6,500 square meters and 455,000 square meters in floor space. 6.5 million cubic feet of wood will be required to realise the braced tube structure designed in collaboration with architectural designers nikken sekkei. braced tubing summarises a structural system strengthened by inserting elements into the incorporated framework to prevent any damage caused by conditions brought on by earthquakes or just simply wind.




renderings of the W350 project show timber buildings covered in greenery that according to sumitomo will be built to withstand earthquakes and fires – with what resistance and for how long is not yet public knowledge. the completed tower will house shops, offices, a hotel and residential units, whilst sketches show balconies wrapped around the entire facade.




once completed the building will not only outstrip abeno harukas in osaka, which currently holds the crown as japan’s tallest building it will be the tallest timber tower in the world. in doing so the company hopes that the project will popularize timber architecture and help jumpstart a revitalization of the forestry industry in rural areas and interest in reforestation.




  • To the designer’s credit, we can look back at that nearly 400′ tower in Germany, built in the late 1930’s, that’s still going strong. Experts say it’s got at least 20 more years. That kind of life expectancy on any project would please most investors. But…that tower doesn’t have hundreds of people living and working in it. It’s still in excellent shape due to constant maintenance…and it’s just a framework. Sure, it’s still going to be more steel than wood, but as others have mentioned, maintenance will be a nightmare on this one, and who wants to be in a penthouse, watching flames climbing up the veneer?

  • This is going to be mostly steel with engineered lumber to cover the steel components giving you a wood look but to get this hight just using lumber alone would extremely expensive and not practical

  • Termites? Dry Rot? Mold? Paint and or Surface Refinishing? My single family home has maintenance requirements, but can’t imagine the maintenance costs on this baby!!! God bless the owner of this thing after fifty years of rain; snow, sleet, sun, wind, when all that exposed lumber begins to deteriorate! Look, it’s enough trouble keeping wooden patio furniture protected from the elements and looking good, hope they have a huge “sinking fund” for this one, and imagine the cost of fire insurance!!! Psychologically speaking, I can’t imagine being in wood building on the upper floors with a fire below. Bad idea overall in my opinion.

    Keith Ensley
  • Also, will be the tallest “No Smoking Allowed” tower.

    william green

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