Asia’s largest timber building

Written by Wood Campus

Jun 5, 2023

Industry | News

man in safety glasses holding wooden studwork
‘Like entering a forest’: Inside Asia’s largest timber building

Singapore CNN — Singapore has long billed itself as a “garden city,” a term coined in the 1960s by the country’s founding father and former prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. In the decades since, the island has embarked on extensive tree-planting programs and embraced so-called “biophilic” architecture, with greenery often seen creeping up urban facades or spilling out from skyscrapers.

A new six-story college campus building stands as Singapore’s latest ode to nature. Home to Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) business school, the gently curved design features sunlit atriums, open-air study areas set against lush backdrops and elevators that descend into beds of tropical plants. Everything from handrails to benches, door frames to room dividers (and even an adjoining bus stop), were built using wood.

So, too, were the structural beams and columns. In fact, the building is made almost entirely from mass timber — a new generation of engineered wood, arranged in layers and bonded with strong adhesives, that is pushing the boundaries of architecture. Sprawling across 43,500 square meters (468,000 square feet), it is now Asia’s largest timber building, by floor area.

Named Gaia, after the ancient Greek goddess of the Earth, the project opened in May and cost 125 million Singapore dollars ($93 million) to build. Its exposed timber frame is free from cladding or paint, a design decision that celebrates natural materials while giving visitors the feeling of walking between trees.

According to the celebrated Japanese architect behind the project, Toyo Ito, this was precisely the point. “I always try to envision a connection with — and a feeling of — nature, such as trees and water, in my designs,” he told CNN shortly after the building’s inauguration ceremony. “The fact you mentioned that if feels like entering a forest shows that my vision came through.”

To read the full article visit: CNN Style

More News

Timber in construction roadmap UK policy

Timber in construction roadmap UK policy

The Government has committed to growing and maintaining a sustainable and long-term supply of domestic timber and wood products in the 2023 Environmental Improvement Plan. We have awarded £7.6 million through the Woodlands into Management Forestry Innovation Funds to...

Government commits to more timber construction

Government commits to more timber construction

The Government has set out an ambitious plan to raise the use of timber in the construction of homes and buildings. It has published a roadmap to boost the safe use of sustainable UK timber in construction while planting forests to increase domestic timber supply. By...

8 Billion Trees

8 Billion Trees

Wood Campus is always keen to promote content and resources which we know will be of interest to our regular visitors and this is why we are drawing your attention to the 8 Billion Trees mission.8 Billion Trees is dedicated to reducing carbon emissions using tree...

TDUK market forecasts at London conference

TDUK market forecasts at London conference

UK and international timber traders gathered in strong numbers for Timber Development UK’s Global Market Conference in London on Wednesday at a time of difficult market dynamics. A noticeably downbeat market sentiment was palpable at the event held in Carpenters Hall,...

Learning Through Timber

Learning Through Timber

The new ‘living lab’ at NMITE will act as a home for Centre of Advanced Timber Technology students to learn more about timber and a net zero approach to building materials.A new purpose built 2,500sqm ‘living lab’ for the New Model Institute for Technology and...