Vienna architects to build world’s tallest wooden building

A concept design of the building, which will be built in Vienna's Seestadt Aspern district
A concept design of the building, which will be built in Vienna’s Seestadt Aspern district

Austrian architects have this month announced plans to build the world’s tallest wooden structure in Vienna in 2016.

The 276ft (84m) project by architectural group HoHo will be be built mostly from wooden materials, and is being labelled as a groundbreaking step in eco-friendly building.

With more than 75% of the building being made from wood HoHo have claimed that the building will save almost 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions when compared to a similar structure build with conventional materials.

The building will feature a hotel, apartments, a restaurant, a gym and offices and is estimated to cost around €60m.

Project developer Caroline Palfy told press that her company chose wood because of their commitment to environmental practices.

“It was used 200 years ago and it was perfect then and is perfect now”, claimed Palfy.

Despite the project being widely praised as a positive step in modern architecture the building’s plans have raised concerns from several areas. Most notably were those of Austria’s fire service, who are unsure of the structural safety of the building. According to some safety authorities a wooden structure of this size may present significant hazards, ranging from structural integrity to an increased risk of fire.

HoHo however claim that every step is being taken to ensure complete safety.

Criticisms were also raised by political groups in Austria. According to some local Viennese groups high-rise buildings in the city already struggle to be filled and many groups claim that the unnecessary building of large and expensive structures creates negative long-term effects on Vienna.

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