flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Japanese company announces plans for the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper


Japanese company announces plans for the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper

The planned tower would rise 350 meters (1148 feet).

By David Malone, Associate Editor | February 15, 2018
Interior of the planned W350 building
Interior of the planned W350 building

Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd, a member of the Sumitomo Group, has big plans to celebrate the Group’s 350th anniversary in the year 2041: a 350-meter wooden tower that comprises retail, office, hotel, and residential space. The Tokyo-based tower would become Japan’s tallest building and the tallest wooden skyscraper in the world.

The overall goal of the high-rise, dubbed W350, is to help realize an environmentally conscious city of wooden buildings that would transform Tokyo into a “forest.” Sumitomo describes the tower as “a living place of living things.”


Exterior of Sumitomo's planned wood towerCourtesy of Sumitomo.


The mixed-use building, which is being designed in collaboration with Japanese architecture firm Nikken Sekkei, will be a wood and steel hybrid that consists of 90% wood. The interior will be made entirely of wood. It is designed to rise 70 stories and 350 meters (1148 feet) into the Tokyo sky. The total floor area will be approximately 455,000 sm and will use 185,000 cubic meters of wood. The company says using this amount of wood would have a two-pronged effect: it will equip the tower to remove about 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the air and will also be a catalyst to encourage reforestation.

The tower is designed with a braced tube structure. This system forms a cylindrical shell with columns/beams and braces. The braces are placed diagonally in a set of shafts assembled with columns and beams to prevent the building from deforming against lateral forces like earthquakes and wind. Balconies will wrap the exterior of the building to provide fresh air, nature, and sunlight.


Rendering of the braced tube structureCourtesy of Sumitomo.


W350’s cost is estimated at 600 billion yen, or $5.6 billion. For comparison, One World Trade Center cost $3.6 billion. Sumitomo says the cost of the wooden tower is almost twice that of conventionally constructed high-rise buildings. In order to bring those costs down, the company is accelerating its research and technology development in an attempt to increase the construction and economic feasibility of the project.


Rendering of a balcony on the W350 towerCourtesy of Sumitomo.


The current tallest wooden building in the world is the Brock Commons on the University of British Columbia campus. The building stands 53 meters, almost 300 meters shorter than the planned W350.

Japanese architecture firm Nikken Sekkei is helping to design the tower.


Rendering of the balconies on the exterior of the buildingCourtesy of Sumitomo.

Related Stories

Building Materials | Aug 3, 2022

Shawmut CEO Les Hiscoe on coping with a shaky supply chain in construction

BD+C's John Caulfield interviews Les Hiscoe, CEO of Shawmut Design and Construction, about how his firm keeps projects on schedule and budget in the face of shortages, delays, and price volatility.

Building Materials | Jul 20, 2022

LP Building Solutions celebrates 50th anniversary at NYSE ceremony

LP Building Solutions celebrates 50th anniversary at NYSE ceremony.

Building Materials | Jun 20, 2022

Early-stage procurement: The next evolution of the construction supply chain

Austin Commercial’s Jason Earnhardt explains why supply chain issues for the construction industry are not going to go away and how developers and owners can get ahead of project roadblocks.

Sponsored | Wood | Apr 21, 2022

PDX Gets Back to its Roots with Engineered Wood

Evoking the serenity of a Pacific Northwest forest, this massive airport redesign features glulam timber and mass plywood panels from local manufacturers.

Wood | Apr 13, 2022

Mass timber: Multifamily’s next big building system

Mass timber construction experts offer advice on how to use prefabricated wood systems to help you reach for the heights with your next apartment or condominium project. 

Contractors | Mar 28, 2022

Amid supply chain woes, building teams employ extreme procurement measures

Project teams are looking to eliminate much of the guesswork around product availability and price inflation by employing early bulk-purchasing measures for entire building projects.

Office Buildings | Feb 23, 2022

The Beam on Farmer, Arizona’s first mass timber, multi-story office building tops out

The Beam on Farmer, Arizona’s first mass timber, multi-story office building, topped out on Feb. 10, 2022.

Wood | Feb 18, 2022

$2 million mass timber design competition: Building to Net-Zero Carbon (entries due March 30!)

To promote construction of tall mass timber buildings in the U.S., the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) and USDA Forest Service (USDA) have joined forces on a competition to showcase mass timber’s application, commercial viability, and role as a natural climate solution.  

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | Oct 15, 2021

7 game-changing trends in structural engineering

Here are seven key areas where innovation in structural engineering is driving evolution.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021


Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: