Ahead of future plans for a possible third tower addition to the two-tower Comcast Innovation and Technology Center in Philadelphia, D.C.-based architects Hickok Cole have put forward a bold proposal for a 62-storey timber skyscraper that would dramatically alter the steel-and-glass skyline of Pennsylvania's largest city.

Timber Towers submission, Skyhive Skyscraper Challenge, image courtesy Hickok Cole

Submitted by Hickok Cole into the recent Skyhive Skyscraper Challenge, the Timber Towers Project would feature an interconnected complex of highrises that would include two 62-storey office towers and a 22-storey residential tower, all made from what in industry parlance is known as mass timber, or wood.

Timber Towers, exploded view with technical specs, image courtesy Hickok Cole

With a total of just under 2 million square feet of combined office and residential space, the Timber Towers Project would inject a considerable amount of supply into the downtown core. More than this, the all-wood structure would be a first for the city, the cutting-edge technology just beginning to make its way onto the international stage, thanks in no small part to advances currently being made in Canada. 

Timber Towers, with cross-bracing support beams, image courtesy Hickok Cole

Sustainable, eco-friendly, and far less labour-intensive, the application of mass timber, especially in projects of this scale, can have provide major incentives for developers, including a reduction of carbon emissions by as much as 75%, and a build time calculated in weeks rather than months or years. 

Timber Towers, interior rendering of office block, image courtesy Hickok Cole

While the Timber Towers Project remains merely a proposal, it is fascinating to contemplate the possibilities that await for the burgeoning field of mass timber construction. 

SkyriseCities will be sure to keep an eye on this project as the story develops. In the meantime, tell us what you think of the proposal in the comments section below!


Related Companies:  Comcast Corporation, Foster + Partners, Gensler, LF Driscoll, Liberty Property Trust