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4 Spectacular Wood Buildings




Overlooking the largest lake in Norway, ‘The Tower of Mjøsa’ stands a majestic 85.4 meters tall, in the city of Brumunddal close to Oslo.

Mjostarnet was officially crowned the tallest all-timber building in the world by CTBUH after its official opening in Spring 2019.

It is a mixed use building – functioning as a hotel, office and residential space.


Wood frame

Mjostarnet’s wood framing components – beams, columns and trusses, were built using glulam, or glued laminated wood – fire resistant for 90 minutes, moisture proof and exceptionally strong. 


According to the non-profit Engineered Wood Association (APA), pound for pound, glulam is claimed to be stronger than steel. 


All the primary load bearing structures of Mjostarnet were built using glued laminated timber, hence the ‘all-timber’ classification by CTBUH, or as some people would like to call it – a plyscraper.   


Getting back to Mjostarnet; prefabrication was the favored construction technique for this building.The requisite slots and holes in the framing members were processed and pre-drilled using CNC machines.


The timber framing structures were then assembled on-site and hoisted in place using cranes – put together just like a giant piece of IKEA furniture. 


In order to provide lateral strength, concrete slabs were added to the upper floors where apartments are located, giving them more weight and stability against the strong winds produced by the lake Mjosa. 


Superior Dome

The Superior Dome stadium has the world’s largest wooden dome with a diameter of 536 feet and a height of 44 meters – roughly 14 storeys. 


It stands close to the shores of the largest freshwater lake in the world – Lake Superior in Marquette, Michigan on the campus of Northern Michigan University. 


Built in 1991 with another construction phase in 1995, the stadium has an enormous 100,000 sq.ft of space with an official capacity of 8,000 attendees. 


Geodesic dome 


The dome’s wood frame is geodesic in structure – a hemispheric network of interlocking triangles that give it a unique look and provide structural strength, while helping reduce costs thanks to minimal material usage. 


Geodesic domes are commonly found in many stadiums and landmark structures across the world, one of them being the Montreal Biosphere – mentioned in our ‘5 most influential steel structures’ blog post. Currently the largest geodesic dome in the world is the Jeddah Super Dome, in Saudi Arabia with a diameter of 210 m. 


The great architect Buckminster Fuller, popularizer of the geodesic dome (who also designed the Montreal Biosphere mentioned above) himself used to live in a geodesic home.


While geodesic domes can also be used for residential construction, their widespread use hasn’t caught on due to numerous practical constraints that we won’t get into here. 


Superior Dome primarily utilizes wood from the Douglas-fir tree indigenous to the West coasts of Canada and the United States, utilizing a total of 781 Douglas-fir beams and  108.5 miles of fir decking. 

<< Learn about the differences between cold-formed steel vs structural steel here >>


Bullitt Center


About 12 kilometers from the Nara Prefecture in Japan, The expansive grounds of the Horyu Temple spanning 187,000 sq meters house some of the oldest surviving wooden structures in the world. 

Amongst those the Main Hall of the Horyu Temple known as the Kondō is the world’s oldest surviving wooden structure, built between AD 670-710 – making it over 1300 years old. 

In 1993 it became Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in order to give due honor to its historical and cultural importance. 

The Hinoki tree

The wood used for creating this structure was the Japanese Cypress, known to the locals as the Hinoki, and was used extensively throughout the country for building temples and shrines. 

Today it is widely used in Japan for the construction of walls, flooring, furniture and the like due to its incredible sturdiness, resistance to rot and widespread availability. 

It is known for its distinct scent which it is said to exude even after construction, and some say the temple still emanates a pleasant lemony scent on a cool, breezeless summer day.

An architectural feature found in the pillars of the temple complex is their subtle curvature in the center, known as ‘entasis’ or dobari in Japanese – a technique commonly noticed in Greek architecture, and claimed to have been imported to Japan from China. 

The Horyu Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the country, and the nearby Nara was a major inlet to the introduction of not only Buddhism from China, but also their architectural techniques.

This temple in specific was built along the plan of a Chinese monastery, and its stone platform for example, is constructed from Chinese models.


Steel framing is at the heart of what we do at Strucsoft Solutions. Our flagship product MWF is the industry leading Revit based wood and steel framing software providing professionals with world class solutions for over 20 years.

Learn more about MWF and its different modules here or see it in action and download your free trial here.


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Strucsoft solutions logoStrucSoft Solutions is the market leader in comprehensive Autodesk® Revit®-based BIM framing, with both off-the-shelf and custom solutions targeting the AEC and fabrication sectors. Our star solution MWF simplifies complex Revit® framing with its powerful range of tools for modeling, inter-trade clash detection, custom construction documentation and optional output to CNC machines.




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