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October 14, 2013
Building Blocks: Could Seattle Return to its Timber Town Roots?
Could Seattle once again be a timber town?
Timbercity: Innovative Multi-Story Wood Architecture, a new exhibit at AIA Seattle (Belltown, 1911 First Ave.; 206.448.4938; aiaseattle.org), examines the trend of designing mid- and high-rise buildings with wood instead of concrete to lessen carbon emissions.
Germany has already raised its first 8-story wood building (see above) and a 20-story wood tower has been conceived by an Austrian firm (see below). "Especially in forested regions of Europe, there is a strong and growing passion for new uses of wood, not only because of its sensual material properties, but also for its potential for carbon neutral construction, and its ability to connect and continue the architectural heritage of place," says Joe Mayo, Associate AIA and the exhibit's creator.
Given Seattle's architectural history of place--namely, being razed by the Great Fire of 1889—design issues being tackled by European and Canadian architects and engineers include durability and fire safety.
The free exhibit, running from 3/20-4/27 at AIA Seattle, is open to the public Tues.-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. There's also a free reception on 4/27, 5:30-7 p.m.
Image credits (top to bottom): The H8 in Bad Aibling, Germany, designed by Schankula Architekten; photo courtesy Schankula Architekten. The LifeCycle Tower by Austrian firm CREE Rhomberg; Image courtesy of CREE Rhomberg.