Stadthaus

Stadthaus by Waugh Thistleton

Stadthaus

Waugh Thistleton’s nine-storey Stadthaus (German for townhouse) is the first tall urban housing project built almost entirely out of prefabricated solid timber.

Stadthaus by Waugh Thistleton
Stadthaus by Waugh Thistleton
Stadthaus by Waugh Thistleton
Stadthaus by Waugh Thistleton

Waugh Thistleton’s nine-storey Stadthaus (German for townhouse) is the first tall urban housing project built almost entirely out of prefabricated timber. It is insulated and airtight beyond UK requirements. Mechanical ventilation of all rooms includes a heat recovery system that retains 70% of the heat that would normally be lost when return air is expelled. Photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof generate a modest supply of renewable energy.

With sustainability high on the agenda, the design meets the Lifetime Homes standard and includes a green-wall wrapping on the southern elevation of the building to encourage local biodiversity. A variety of new shrubs and trees will create an ecologically sustainable ‘pocket’ park. The development includes a landscaped playground for children on the south side, which parents can overlook from half the apartments.

The unusual feature is the cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels used as load-bearing walls and floor slabs. There are no beams or columns anywhere and the structure is amenable to openings being created in walls with relative ease. The architects and engineers had prior experience of CLT, gained through a variety of low rise housing, commercial, educational and industrial projects. Their interest in using CLT arose from an environmental position and a desire to make timber more readily accepted in the UK, especially for tall structures that have hitherto been feasible only with inorganic building materials such as concrete, masonry and steel.

More case studies

Holly Barn, a new house near Reedham at the edge of the Norfolk Broads, was built on the site of a derelict timber barn. The timberclad exterior relates to the local vernacular of windmills and boat-houses.

The Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre is a new teaching and live entertainment space at The Perse School. On this project FSC-certified European oak was used for the staircase and its handrails, and for the balustrades of vertical boards which line the staircase and landings. Along the glazed north wall, the vertical oak boards of the landing balustrade are set with gaps to enhance daylight and reflect the open nature of the foyer.