Building the Lego way – America's largest wooden building now complete
Architect: Michael Green Architecture
Location: Minneapolis, USA
The name T3 stands for timber, technology and transit and accordingly the entire superstructure of the building has been constructed out of wooden parts, columns and beams, which were delivered in pre-fabricated form and then pieced together according to the Lego principle. Located in the North Loop neighbourhood, also known as the Warehouse District, the building contains some 20,800 square metres of office and store space.
»T3 is currently the largest completed mass timber building in the U.S.«, states a spokesman from Michael Green Architects (MGA) based in Vancouver (Canada) and Portland (U.S.A.). The design for T3 is adapted to the surrounding buildings and thus unites the character of past times with modern aspects.
Laminated timber was used for construction of the roof, floors, columns and beams – and naturally also for the furniture. Most of the timber came from trees killed by mountain pine beetles. Over 24 million hectares of American forest are infested by the insect and its populations are reaching epidemic levels due to global warming, as a study by National Geographic reports.
The wooden structure made it possible to erect the tower faster than a steel-framed and concrete building of similar size, as shown by the fact that the 17,000 square metres of superstructure were completed in slightly less than ten weeks. T3 is also significantly lighter than comparable buildings, meaning it was possible to reduce the depth of its foundations. Its streetside elevations are clad in panels of weathering steel.