Work has been completed on one of the world’s tallest timber towers. Reaching an impressive height of 75 m, the Sara Cultural Centre, by White Arkitekter, is also very sustainable and the firm expects it to become carbon negative after 50 years.
A tower that reaches a height of 75 m (246 ft) may not sound all that impressive – the Empire State Building is over five times taller, after all – but when you consider that the Sara Cultural Centre in Sweden is made almost entirely from wood and is actually one of the world’s tallest timber towers, it puts that height into perspective.
The project also packs a lot of sustainable features and is expected to become carbon negative in 50 years.The Sara Cultural Centre is a mixed-use development that consists of the high-rise 20-story tower, as well as a low-rise cultural center. It includes an art gallery, a museum, a theater, and a library, plus a hotel with a restaurant, spa, and conference center.
The tower’s upper floors offer dramatic views of the landscape around Skellefteå, which is just below the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland, and the interiors highlight the natural beauty of the wood.”The high-rise hotel is built up from prefabricated 3D-modules in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), stacked between two elevator cores entirely made of CLT,” says White Arkitekter.
“The low-rise cultural center is built with columns and beams of Glued Laminated Timber (GLT) and cores and shear walls in CLT. Integrated structural design has eliminated the need for concrete entirely from the load bearing structure, speeding up construction and drastically reducing the building’s carbon footprint.”
The timber used in construction has been sourced locally from sustainably managed forests and processed in a nearby sawmill. The building’s exterior includes sunscreens to shield the interior from the 24-hour summer Sun in that part of the world and a heat pump-based system provides energy efficient heating and cooling.
A total of 1,200 sq m (almost 13,000 sq ft) of solar panels reduce its draw on the power grid, and an integrated AI-based system adjusts energy use depending on occupancy.