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World’s Tallest Timber Building Set to Open in Brisbane Later this Year


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Photo courtesy of Terri Hewerdine at Lend Lease

Building is well underway for what is scheduled to be the world’s tallest engineered timber office building, with the most extensive gross floor area, to be located in Brisbane.

The first delivery of the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) columns, beams and floor panels has made it to the Brisbane showgrounds for the building dubbed 25 King.

Once complete, the building will reach 45 metres in height, sit at nine storeys, and will proudly boast a world first in sustainable architecture, targeting a six-star Green Star Design and As-Built rating. It is also targeting a WELL Core and Shell rating. 25 King is aiming for 67 percent lower electricity usage and a 55 percent reduction in potable water compared to industry standard benchmarks.

Once complete, the building will reach 45 metres in height, sit at nine storeys, and will proudly boast a world first in sustainable architecture. 

Designed by Bates Smart and engineered by Global firm Aurecon (which will also occupy four floors), the building is owned by Impact Investment Group, an investment funds manager. Development management is being provided by Lendlease.

In coming up with the design, Bates Smart has addressed what it believes to be a fundamental need to connect to nature and preserve the environment.

“We see timber buildings as the next generation workplace dedicated to a creative class that is looking for rich environments that enhance well-being and productivity,” says Director Philip Vivian.

“The timber construction recalls the vernacular ‘Queenslanders.’ It also relates to the historic Royal National Agricultural pavilions to create a site-specific and innovative tall building that connects with nature,” he continues.

The new Brisbane building will eclipse the current tallest wooden buildings, International House at Barangaroo (six storeys) and Forte, at Docklands in Melbourne (five storeys).

The building will utilise sustainably sourced timber, integrate rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and optimised air-conditioning. It will have parking facilities for 152 bicycles and 56 cars, encouraging a healthier lifestyle for its tenants. 

The building will utilise sustainably sourced timber, integrate rainwater harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, and optimised air-conditioning. 

“Throughout the nine floors, 25 King offers the connectivity, security, and tech capabilities expected from a state-of-the-art address,” explains Lendlease Building General Manager Tony Orazio. High ceilings and large windows optimise natural light and a sense of space. They are topped up with communal break-out areas, side-core configuration and open-plan design.”

25 King is the fifth engineered timber building in Australia managed by Lendlease, joining the ranks of International House, Forte, the Library at Docklands and Jordan Springs Community Hub. Lendlease is a partner in the Future Timber Hub, Australia’s leading timber collaboration that aims at challenging the perceived barriers of timber construction through research-based strategies and innovative technology to boost the timber industry. 

The timber structure will be exposed throughout the building, with no suspended ceiling or wall finished to the main office floor plate. The service design has been fully coordinated with the timber structure to mitigate penetrations through the timber beams. 

“As the world’s largest and tallest engineered timber office building, 25 King will be one of the most exciting editions to the Brisbane skyline,” says Orazio.  “A key element of 25 King’s structure is the use of prefabricated modules for each floor. These modules are pre-assembled on the ground and lifted into place to form what looks like a wooden lego structure.”

“As the world’s largest and tallest engineered timber office building, 25 King will be one of the most exciting editions to the Brisbane skyline." 

“The fascinating thing about building with timber is its strength. It is akin to concrete and steel, it can be produced economically in a factory environment, and, most importantly, boasts a plethora of sustainability benefits,” he continues.

At ground level, the building will be home to numerous cafes and restaurants, while inside, the office space will boast exposed timber structure and services creating collaborative workspaces. Its floorplates will integrate a six by eight metre module grid of Glulam columns with visual grade CLT cladding to highlight what Bates Smart calls the “honest expression” of the building.

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