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PLP, Cambridge University and Smith and Wallwork present timber skyscraper research to London’s Mayor Boris Johnson

PLP Architecture is working with researchers from Cambridge University’s Department of Architecture and engineers Smith and Wallwork to develop research on the future development of tall timber buildings in central London. The conceptual plans imagine an 80-storey, 300metre high wooden building creating 1,000 new residential units integrated within the Barbican.


Kevin Flanagan, Partner at PLP Architecture said “We now live predominantly in cities and so the proposals have been designed to improve our wellbeing in an urban context. Timber buildings have the potential architecturally to create a more pleasing, relaxed, sociable and creative urban experience. Our firm is currently designing many of London’s tall buildings, and the use of timber could transform the way we build in this city. We are excited to be working with the University and with Smith and Wallwork on this ground breaking design- and engineering-based research.”


The tall timber buildings research also looks towards creating new design potentials with timber buildings, rather than simply copying the forms of steel and concrete construction. The transition to timber construction may have a wider positive impact on urban environments and built form, and offers opportunities not only to rethink the aesthetics of buildings, but also the structural methodologies informing their design as well.