In the past, we have talked about how Japan is tackling the problem of land shortage with uniquely-designed skinny homes. Recently, Weingartner Architects has developed an even better solution to the current issues of climate change, lack of resources, land scarcity and social alienation; all in the form of the new Elastic Woodscraper II. Designed to promote sustainability, social cohesion and energy efficiency, this incredibly innovative concept skyscraper is built primarily using wood.
Taking cue from modern-day high-rise buildings, this affordable and eco-friendly residential-cum-commercial tower features an array of advanced technologies. In an attempt to keep carbon footprint to a minimum, the architects proposed the construction of 70-percent of the entire structure using locally-sourced wood. Rising to a height of 200 metres, the mixed-use skyscraper can accommodate a total of 300 people; thus facilitating the growth of social integration and cohesion.
Central to the Elastic Woodscraper II design are pre-fabricated, wooden “skycubes”, each of which is mounted on top of a centrally-located concrete core. As many as 14 strengthened skycubes are stacked in zigzag fashion, by means of a crane. Each of these units in turn consists of 15 apartments, spread out over three, different floors. In addition to playground, pool, sauna and rooftop terrace, the residents will have access to a gym, a lobby, a cafe and a communal barbecue area. Furthermore, the core will possess five smart elevators, along with five staircases and risers. The tower’s blueprint includes provision for a capacious underground parking garage.
The entire residential area is comprised of 90 apartments, each with a net floor space of 60 sq. m. (646 sq. ft.), and 10 penthouses, measuring up to 95 sq. m. (1023 sq. ft.) each. The company claims that installing six units of Angelo Roventa’s Elastic Living multi-functional furniture, worth a total of $45,200 (€40,000), will likely triple the available space. Each apartment includes a bedroom, a bathroom and a living area. Enormous floor-to-ceiling windows provide spectacular, panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
In an effort to ensure optimal use of natural lighting, the architects have incorporated the concept of smart glazing. Designed to reduce the costs of heating, lighting and air-conditioning, as well as eliminate the expenditure on curtains and blinds, this intuitive glass envelope alters its light transmission properties upon the application of external voltage. A custom-built smartphone app allows the residents to adjust the lighting and indoor temperature into to six available modes. Additionally, the terrace, situated on top of each skycube, features urban gardens that encourage urban farming.
The skyscraper will make use of smart floor heating, advanced heat recovery ventilation system, combined heat and power station (CHP), solar panels, wind turbines and heat pump. Architect Leonhard Weingartner believes, the new Elastic Woodscraper II not only promotes sustainability and energy efficiency, it encourages the residents to make more environmentally-conscious choices. According to the team, the total construction time includes 3 months for the tower’s core and an additional 4 weeks for the individual skycubes.
The company is currently in the process of finalizing a housing project in Switzerland, based on the Elastic Woodscraper II design. The total estimated cost of the skyscraper is $5,029,000 (€4,431,000), if constructed in Germany.