IN-Review: New Architecture In Wood | Types And Structures

IN-Review: New Architecture In Wood | Types And Structures


The construction industry in the United States only, is responsible for the 40% of the carbon emissions of our planet, imagine the sum of all countries. For this powerful reason only, the future of construction must start with the utilization of sustainable and renewable materials that can lower the carbon emissions of our built environment for a cleaner future.

New Architecture In Wood, a book by Marc Wilhelm Lennartz and Suzanne Jacob-Freitag provides a scope of projects completely or at least 90% built in wood with an introduction to the origins of modern timber construction where the two pioneers of timber construction are introduced: Otto Hetzer and Konrad Wachsmann.

” Whereareas Hetzer made possible the construction of large-scale timber constructions, Wachsmann saw the industrial possibilities of this ancient building material.”

The projects published are categorized by: Public, Commercial, Sports and Leisure Facilities, Multi-Storey Buildings and Infill Developments and additional storeys. Special structures are also included in the categories as a demonstration of the array of designs that can be accomplished by the use of timber and its systems.

Within the industry of wood construction, several systems are utilized and well presented on this book. Timber as we know it, can be composed into systems with new names depending on the disposition of the elements applied. Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and GluLam or Glue Laminated Timber are some examples of those new systems we now find rising and conforming wooden buildings as those presented on New Architecture In Wood.

The authors also recognize the importance of 3d softwares used in the process of design of many of the projects herein. The achievement of complex structures can be facilitated by pre-planning the amount of material that will be used, the disposition of the elements, prefabrication of custom elements and calculate the structural stresses for a complete and truthful visualization of the Timber building.

On this same line of software and technology, the LCT One or Life Cycle Tower One, included in this book, is one of the projects that proves its upgraded efficiency with the use of the Life Cycle System provided by the R&D practice CREE created by Rhomberg. The LCT system combines the use of timber and concrete for faster construction and higher buildable floors, a hybrid innovation marvel from the UK.

So in general, this book finds its value for those interested on visualizing built timber architecture and erase the skepticism of how high or complex can we go with a building completely made out of wood. This book shows them mostly all, including airports and domes; you will be amazed by what can be done. I invite you to take a glimpse of a few pages of the book in this issue file along with the images below for some additional pages I found interesting.

Also, as a detailed material-wise note: this book is “Printed on acid-free paper produced from chlorine-free pulp. T.C.F. (Totally Chlorine Free)”

About the Authors:


• Susanne Jacob-Freitag, Dipl.- Ing., studied construction engineering. For 10 years she was an editor with a German journal for timber construction. Since 2007 she has been working as a freelance journalist, focusing on engineered timber construction and architecture. She runs a business providing editorial services, manuScriptur, in Karlsruhe.


marc-wilhelm• Marc Wilhelm Lennartz, Dipl.-Georgr., studied physical and economic geography, urban planning, urban and regional development, transport policy, and soil science at the Rheinische Friedrich Wilhelms University in Bonn. He works as a freelance journalist, consultant, and author specializing in modern (timber) architecture, urban planning, renewable energy, and renewable raw materials.


This book can be purchased through any of your favorite bookstores online like Barnes & Noble or Amazon. Many thanks to our friends at Birkhäuser for the provision of this review copy.

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New Architecture In Wood: Forms and Structures Book Cover New Architecture In Wood: Forms and Structures
Marc Wilhelm Lennartz and Sussanne Jacob-Freitag
Architecture/ Construction

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Mabelle Plasencia

Founder and Editor at INmatteria©
• Architect | LEED AP BD+C, with an intense passion for materiality, innovation, technology and science. • Arquitecta | LEED AP BD+C apasionada por la materialidad, innovación, tecnología y ciencia.