Anyone who looks up while walking Washington’s streets can reckon what the building material of the future is. Most new structures feature glass walls, which have turned downtown into a giant peep show. Stone and concrete facades are being stripped and replaced with even more of the tempered, transparent material.
“Timber City,” an illuminating if not see-through exhibition at the National Building Museum, proposes an alternative. Tomorrow’s buildings will — or should — be constructed of wood.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has designed a 42-story tower that, if built, will have a carbon footprint 60 percent smaller than a same-size edifice erected with steel and concrete.