80-floor wooden skyscraper planned in London

A giant timber skyscraper could emerge as an architectural landmark in London, alongside the Gherkin and the Shard.

The 80-storey tower would stand 300 metre-high, integrated into the Barbican complex and create 1,000 new residences.

Architectural plans for the first timber skyscraper in the city, were presented to London mayor Boris Johnson last week for his approval.

Architects' Journal likened the design concept to a toothpick.

The timber structure would be the second-tallest building in the capital after the 95-storey Shard, which stands at 310 metre.

The world's tallest timber building as of date, is a 14-storey apartment block in Bergen, Norway, which will be surpassed by London's proposed timber skyscraper, if its developers get the green light.

London-based PLP Architecture, had, in partnership with researchers from Cambridge University's department of architecture and engineers Smith and Wallwork drawn up proposals for the development of tall timber buildings in central London.

The researchers are looking at timber as a structural material in tall buildings due to a variety of potential benefits, the most obvious being the fact that it is a renewable resource.

They also cite benefits such as cheaper construction cost, less time for construction and lighter buildings.

Just because it would be made of wood in no way meant that it would be a greater fire risk say the researchers. In fact, the finished building was likely to be safer than most steel and concrete construction.

As regards the builders' aims when the Barbican residential estate was first built, Dr. Michael Ramage, director of Cambridge's Centre for Natural Material Innovation,  said, ''The Barbican was designed in the middle of the last century to bring residential living into the city of London – and it was successful. We've put our proposals on the Barbican as a way to imagine what the future of construction could look like in the 21st century.''

''If London is going to survive it needs to increasingly densify. One way is taller buildings. We believe people have a greater affinity for taller buildings in natural materials rather than steel and concrete towers,'' marketbusinessnews.com reported.