Tall projects from Norway to Gibraltar

Rendering of the proposed Hassan Centenary Terraces

CLTElevator Shafts Part of World’s Tallest Timber Tower

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) elevator shafts are part of Mjøstårnet, a mixed-use tower in Brumunddal, Norway, that the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) recently ratified as the world’s tallest timber building at 18 stories, or 85.4 m. In light of the recent increase in tall-timber construction worldwide, CTBUH also amended its height criteria to include timber as a recognized structural material: an “all timber” structure may include non-timber elements such as CLT and glue-laminated (glulam) timber. In addition to the elevator shafts, Mjøstårnet has CLT stairs and floor slabs, and glulam columns, beams and diagonals. AB Invest AS developed and Voll Arkitekter designed the building, which is the third-tallest in Norway. The elevator system was supplied by Norway’s Starlift.

Dutch-Designed Mixed-Use Towers for Frankfurt

Developer Phoenix and Gross & Partner plans to build 40- and eight-story copper-colored towers designed by Netherlands-based Mecanoo at Frankfurt Grand Central station in Frankfurt, Germany, dezeen reported. Described by the architect as part of the emergence of the area as a live-work-play neighborhood, the structures, connected by a glass plinth, would contain a mix of public and private housing, o–ces, stores, a gym and a kindergarten. Also on the drawing boards are an underground car park, a public square and a public park. The proposal comes on the heels of what the source described as the “Brexit building boom” of 2017 and would join dozens of new high rises going up in Frankfurt.

Gibraltar Officials Endorse Multitower Residential Project

The government of the British territory Gibraltar has endorsed the construction of a multitower project that would add 665 residences, but the plan is proving to be controversial, The Express reported in February. The developers of Hassan Centenary Terraces envision six waterfront towers up to 33 stories tall in the northeastern section of the territory. Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo described the proposal as an “exciting time for Gibraltar” that would “deliver affordable housing for our community.”

Spanish authorities are challenging the project, however, saying the land has been “illegally reclaimed,” despite it being on the shores of the British territory. The challenge stems from a longstanding dispute over territorial waters — the U.K. claims authority over a small area of sea surrounding Gibraltar, while o–cials in Madrid assert sovereignty over all waters around the territory except for its port. The Spanish authorities said they are weighing legal options.

The proposal is also facing criticism from Gibraltar’s own planning commission, which has reacted negatively to the designs. The buildings would be Gibraltar’s tallest, and planners are raising concerns about the visual impact they would have on the iconic landscape, which is dominated by the 426-m-tall Rock of Gibraltar.

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Elevator World | May 2019 Cover