A Canadian architect has put forward audacious plans for a rival to the Eiffel Tower’s dominance of the Parisian skyline – a skyscraper made of wood.
Vancouver-based Michael Green, an expert on building high-rises out of wood timbers, has a role in an audacious proposal to construct the world’s tallest.
At 35 stories, the wooden tower his team is proposing would have to be approved as an exception to Paris’s existing height limits for wood structures, but he hopes winning the bid could be the “Eiffel-Tower moment” for the acceptance of tall timber buildings he has been advocating.
It is an example Green uses frequently. Gustave Eiffel’s 301m tower “blew the socks off the entire idea of how tall you could build a building”.
Green’s firm, MGA, unveiled the proposal as its entry into the Reinventer Paris competition, a project by local authorities to search for innovations in urban design and sustainability capable of revitalising Parisian architecture.
He sees the opportunity to showcase wood as a sustainable, carbon-sequestering building material in Paris, and make as grand a statement as the Eiffel Tower did in 1889.
Green said he is calling for change in the way the world builds.
His proposal – forget steel, straw, concrete, shipping containers, and rammed earth. Use wood to erect urban skyscrapers.
“When the Eiffel Tower was built, nobody thought it could be done. Now it’s a symbol of Paris,” Green said.
“Projects like it really triggered an innovation on how cities were built. Man moves by innovation and aiming for the moon.”