The world’s largest wooden city is coming to Stockholm. Announced on June 20 through Atrium Ljungberg, the firm responsible for the project, Stockholm Wood City is expected to break ground in 2025, with the first completed buildings in 2027. “We are proud to introduce Stockholm Wood City. This is not only an important step for us as a company, but a historic milestone for Swedish innovation capability,” Annica Ånäs, CEO of Atrium Ljungberg, said in a statement.
Planned in Sickla, which is in the southern parts of Stockholm, the city is planned to extend over 2,690,977 square feet. The project includes a variety of construction types and is expected to bring 7,000 new offices and 2,000 new housing units to the area, along with real estate options for stores and restaurants. The development will span 25 blocks and is estimated to be largest community built using mass timber upon its completion. “Stockholm Wood City manifests our future. From tenants, there is a strong demand for innovative, sustainable solutions—a demand that we meet with this initiative,” Ånäs added.
In an effort to revolutionize the future, designers and architects are increasingly looking to the past, and wood construction remains a prime example of this occurrence. Wood is generally considered more sustainable than steel and concrete, as timber construction emits fewer pollutants. Engineered timber—or man-made timber—can be fireproof as well, which is exceedingly important as forest fires increase in both severity and occurrence due to climate change. Atrium Ljungberg also claims that wood buildings can be better for personal health and that studies have shown they “provide better air quality, reduce stress, increase productivity, and store carbon dioxide throughout the time they are in use.”
Stockholm Wood City hopes to bring these benefits to a larger scale. Though wood construction is increasing, it has mostly been confined to singular structures or blocks. Beliefs that wood is outdated or even dangerous—thanks, in part, to disasters like the Great Chicago Fire—have slowed its use on a wide-scale level, despite efforts from organizations such as the New European Bauhaus to change this reputation. “Our industry leaves a big mark, and it is important for us to make a positive difference in both the shorter and longer term,” Ånäs said.