October 1, 2020

WEIJENBERG, an award-winning design firm,  together with Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), are reimagining the Singapore skyline with a tower made entirely from timber. Following the Singapore government’s announcement in 2016 that it will install solar panels on its public housing buildings by 2020, WEIJENBERG has taken a step towards a greener Singapore and meeting the city state’s ‘Sustainable City 2030 Agenda’.

The proposed design is a conceptual sustainable, energy efficient tower in the country’s Central Business District. This methodology can be applied residentially, thereby addressing the demand for high-rise housing across Asia.

An excellent sustainable alternative to concrete or steel, engineered timber requires a different structural design approach for high-rise buildings. Pushing the boundaries of wooden tower design, WEIJENBERG and SUTD researched the possibility of an 80-storey tower using digital simulation to vigorously test building structures resulting in a 4-layer nested tube system, with beams spanning to the central core. In addition to the tube structure, lateral members and chevron bracing help to stabilise the structure. Joints between members were carefully designed for load transfer with minimal material consumption taking inspiration from traditional wood working joinery. The joinery enables off-site production and is quick to assemble on site to speed-up construction time.

Camiel Weijenberg, founder and director of WEIJENBERG, said: “At WEIJENBERG, we aim to contribute to the sustainable architecture movement and promote this to the wider community. By integrating this prototype tower in an urban context, where each tower not only consumes less net energy as an individual unit, but optimizes neighbouring buildings in its vicinity, this generates a synergy which has considered multiple aspects such as location, built environment, climate and sociocultural context. A sustainable neighbourhood must not only be environmentally sustainable, but also socially and economically viable, creating a space where people can enjoy everyday life.”