New York City, New York

Plan B is a Metsä Wood initiative and MGA is a strategic partner in it. In 2015 we explored the boundaries of high rise buildings. The challenge was to design an iconic building, representative of innovations in structural steel in the 1920’s, out of Kerto LVL engineered wood. The overall size, floor to floor and column spacing are the same as the original structure.

The original Empire State Building was in itself an incredible feat of construction. At 1,453ft, it stood as the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years, until the original World Trade Centre buildings were completed. It was also completed in an incredible 15 months of construction. It now contains over 2.2 million square feet of office space.

We typically associate buildings like the Empire State Building with an age of progress and innovation in architecture and engineering. It is a physical manifestation of progress and possibility. While many things have changed in 85 years, architects still strive to give form to new ideas about structure, energy consumption, climate change, the list goes on. For these reasons we chose the Empire State Building to develop as a Plan B Case Study. Its iconic status in New York and worldwide is recognized and celebrated.

The largest tree recorded alive is 379 feet tall (Hyperion, California), its growth slowed only by its ability to push nutrients up its height, and not by the structural capacity of its fibres. With new innovations that have occurred in the development of Mass Timber Products, we can once again reach new heights and new possibilities with this incredible structural material, Wood.