Stockholm Wood City will be the world's largest urban construction project in wood. The initiative has been announced by the Swedish real estate company Atrium Ljungberg. Set to commence in 2025, the first buildings are scheduled to be completed by 2027.
Encompassing an impressive area of over 60 acres, Stockholm Wood City will offer 7000 office spaces and 2000 homes in Sickla, located in the southern parts of the capital city of Stockholm. The project will create a dynamic urban setting with a mix of workplaces, housing, restaurants, and shops.
Given that buildings contribute up to 40% of global CO2 emissions, the real estate industry plays a vital role in driving the shift towards sustainability, and this visionary project showcases the potential of renewable building materials. Working with wood can reduce the climate impact of buildings by up to 50% while significantly decreasing construction time. Also being a renewable and locally sourced material, wood offers immense possibilities for sustainable urbanisation and development. Research studies indicate that wooden buildings enhance air quality, reduce stress, increase productivity, and store carbon dioxide over their lifespan. Stockholm Wood City incorporates additional environmental benefits by addressing the shortage of workplaces south of Stockholm's inner city, thus reducing commuting times. The project focuses on self-produced, stored, and shared energy, aligning with Sweden's national agenda on energy supply and efficiency. In an extraordinary addition to its architectural landscape, the northern city of Skellefteå unveiled Sara Cultural Centre and The Wood Hotel in 2021, one of the tallest timber buildings in the world standing at over 260 feet tall. All the timber utilised was sourced locally, reducing the need for transportation, and minimising its carbon footprint. Throughout Sweden, an increasing number of high rise structures are being constructed using wood, as part of the nation's commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 – an overarching climate goal. However, while tall wooden buildings hold symbolic importance, it is the proliferation of wooden houses and structures that truly contributes to lower environmental and climate impacts. Sweden, known for its vast forests that cover approximately 70% of the country's area, understands the importance of responsible forest management. For every tree cut down, at least two new ones are planted, ensuring the continuous availability of materials for construction and other sustainable applications such as fuel, heat, fabric, and packaging. Swedish architects embrace the timeless and renewable nature of wood, combining it with the latest technological advancements to create innovative structures that reduce construction time significantly. The strength and lightness of wood enable vertical construction in existing urban environments, allowing for the expansion of buildings and the integration of timber on top infills and other inventive techniques.
Credit: Atrium Ljungberg/Henning Larsen.