Sustainable Development

Sweden is building the largest wooden city in the world

This is a reposting of an article originally published on the Dezeen website.
The Stockholm Wood City will be built in the Stockholm neighborhood of Sickla.

The Stockholm Wood City will be built in the Stockholm neighborhood of Sickla. Image: Pexels/Nadine Wuchenauer

Cajsa Carlson
Deputy Editor, Dezeen
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SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • Stockholm Wood City is a proposed development in Stockholm, Sweden, that will be the world's largest mass-timber project.
  • It will have 7,000 office spaces, 2,000 homes and cover 250,000 square meters.
  • The district will feature nature-informed elements and be designed to have the feel of a forest.

Scandinavian studios Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter are designing Stockholm Wood City, which will become the world's largest mass-timber development and have the "serenity of a forest".

Set to be built in the Stockholm neighbourhood of Sickla, the project was dubbed the "world's largest wooden city" by developer Atrium Ljungberg as it will use more timber than any other project in development.

Stockholm Wood City, which will have 7,000 office spaces and 2,000 homes and cover 250,000 square metres, is being designed by Danish studio Henning Larsen and Swedish firm White Arkitekter.

Stockholm Wood City will have 7,000 office spaces and 2,000 homes.
Stockholm Wood City will have 7,000 office spaces and 2,000 homes. Image: Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter

According to the developer, the district will feature nature-informed elements and was designed to have the feel of a forest.

"We sought to create an urban environment infused with the serenity of a forest, resulting in a dense, open space that bears the distinctively minimalistic and functional aesthetic of Scandinavian design," Atrium Ljungberg told Dezeen.

"The architects innovatively incorporated natural elements into the structures – for instance, green roofs for better insulation and large windows to let in natural light, embodying our vision of a city that thrives in harmony with nature," it added.

The project will feature nature-informed elements, such as green roofs and outdoor spaces.
The project will feature nature-informed elements, such as green roofs and outdoor spaces. Image: Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter

The buildings will be constructed from fire-proofed mass timber.

"Engineered wood forms a protective char layer on the surface that retains much of its structural strength, contributing to a safer structure," the developer said.

As well as being made from wood, a material that both sequesters carbon and emits fewer emissions than concrete, there are other benefits in building cities from wood, it added.

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"Wooden construction means significantly reduced climate impact both during the construction phase and through the whole life cycle," Atrium Ljungberg said.

"Research has also proven other strong benefits, such as improved well-being for people and a faster, quieter construction process."

Stockholm Wood city is a model for how to build cities that are more environmentally friendly and livable.
Stockholm Wood City is a model for how to build cities that are more environmentally friendly and livable. Image: Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter

Stockholm Wood City will also have self-produced, stored and shared energy, according to the developer, which didn't reveal the details of the project's energy production.

The development will break ground in 2025, with the first buildings set to be completed in 2027.

Stockholm Wood City is a model for how to build cities that are more resilient to climate change.
Stockholm Wood City is a model for how to build cities that are more resilient to climate change. Image: Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter

"We are building the project in phases to learn new things during each phase which we can then apply in the following phases," the developer said.

"We will learn much more from doing this at such a big scale. Our core strategy is to develop large interconnected areas," it added.

"In this way, we can create places full of variety that people enjoy and where they want to be, as opposed to just setting up a single building."

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As well as homes and workplaces, Stockholm Wood City will also have restaurants and shops.

The project is the latest in a row of large wooden projects that are currently under construction, including a Toronto waterfront project that will feature designs by Adjaye Architects, Alison Brooks Architects and Henning Larsen.

White Arkitekter also designed Sara Kulturhus, a 20-storey mass-timber cultural building in northern Sweden that we took a closer look at as part of our Timber Revolution series.

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