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A Slovak Student of Architecture Designed a Wooden Skyscraper

Gallery August 5, 2018  |  Text by Petra Baumruková Text by Petra Baumruková

Wood as a building material is more associated with log cabins than skyscrapers. What are its advantages for the construction of high-rise buildings and why such a skyscraper does not burn down, explains the designer Patrik Domanický.

Why a skyscraper with great use of wood? What benefits do you see according to modern materials?

First and foremost you have to ask: why not? It is necessary to overcome the limits and think about the sustainability of architecture. Wood is a renewable material that will be with us for good if we take care of it. That is why we can have all the buildings made of wood. At the same time, the quality of the space will increase. Wood has the ability to store CO2 (1 m3 of wood can store up to 1 ton of CO2). So that we improve the environment, as up to 9% of total CO2 production comes from the steel and concrete production process.

Did you think about a fire protection of your high-rise wooden construction?

A high-rise building with maximum use of wood must contain a reinforced concrete core to straighten the structure and, last but not least, as a protected escape route for humans. By doing so, the wood of massive dimensions does not burn down. We know all the characteristics of fire, as well as how the wood behaves when burning. Therefore, in such constructions, all supporting elements are dimensioned to the extent that the wood cannot burn out because of the smouldering. The deeper the smouldering, the more oxygen it takes, and the fire chokes itself.

The pioneered project is primarily conceived as a residential, or administrative? In which areas of these two do you see more use of wooden elements in the future?

The project has a concept of different functions. The main residence part is for residential and temporary residence, i.e. residential and hotel areas. On the lower floors there is an administrative part and services.

The wooden skyscraper by Patrik Domanický is one of the many projects that entered the largest student competition of wooden building designs.