Plyscraper, for real
Once in a while, life imitates journalism. In “The birth of the plyscraper” (April 24, 2014), I noted the trend toward green buildigs of a different kind – large commercial and residential structures made from wood rather than the usual steel and concrete. Were such buildings to become popular, it would open new markets for industrial tree production. Central Illinois, I judged, would be perfect spot for such a plant, being near major building markets and served by an excellent transport system.
I also noted that the famed architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill had tested the feasibility of building a wood-framed residential tower in Chicago that would be about as tall as the Public Service Building (now the Illinois Building) at Sixth and Adams in Springfield.
That’s a stretch. But the other day, Houston-based Hines Interests, a major developer, expressed interest in erecting an actual wood building on Chicago’s Goose Island. An office structure like one the firm built recently in Minneapolis, the a 7-story building would use long beams of engineered wood and interior columns of glued, laminated beams.It’s a start.