Dutch wood high-rise wins WAN award

The tallest wood-framed building in the Netherlands has won an award as the best residential building of 2016. Patch22 features rooftop solar panels, a biomass heating system and can be easily converted from residential to commercial use.

The winner of the WAN Residential Award 2016 is a seven-storey, wood-framed high-rise located in Amsterdam, as was announced by World Architecture News, which handed out the award.

Standing 30 metres high, Patch22 is made out of a heavy timber frame structure with wooden walls both inside and out. The building boasts other green features, including rooftop solar panels and a carbon-neutral heating system that burns wood pellets, reported TreeHugger.

The tallest wooden building in the Netherlands is also extremely flexible. The units are sold unfinished and completely open, the floors are designed to take twice the normal loads and the units have four metre floor-to-ceiling heights, which means the building is suitable for either residential or commercial use.

This latter point in particular impressed the jury. As one juror said: “It’s setting out for residential but in the future it could be used for commercial, so really it’s sustainable and you’re not going to have to knock it down.”

Said another juror: “It’s future proofing it [the building] if the bottom falls out of the housing market but it’s enabling a new community to grow.”

Patch22 was designed by the architect Tom Frantzen. Located in an underdeveloped part of the city, it is now acting as a beacon and stimulating new development in the area.


Image credit: PATCH22 by FRANTZEN et al. © Luuk Kramer

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