Milwaukee to Receive Tallest Timber Structure

Dubbed Ascent, the 21-story mixed-use development will comprise 410,000 square feet downtown. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2019.

Rendering of Ascent

New Land Enterprises, Korb + Associates Architects and Thornton Tomasetti unveiled the design for the tallest timber tower in the Western Hemisphere. Dubbed Ascent, the 21-story mixed-use development will comprise 410,000 square feet in downtown Milwaukee. Scheduled to break ground in the fall of 2019, the building will stand 238 feet tall upon completion. 

“In addition to activating a long vacant corner, we are developing an environmentally connected, world-class apartment building with unmatched features, amenities and design aesthetics,” said Tim Gokhman, director of New Land Enterprises, in a prepared statement. “Mass timber is an amazing building tool. Its carbon sequestration and renewability properties are coupled with the stunning aesthetics of natural wood beams. It’s a true marriage of form and function.”

The rise of timber

Mass timber is set to perform better than traditional building materials when it comes to fire, earthquake and wind conditions. The laminated timber beams, slabs and columns in mass timber structures can be one of the world’s greatest man-made storehouses of CO2, absorbing as much carbon dioxide as produced by 2,100 cars or saving enough energy to power 1,000 homes per year. This is the second mass timber development by the New Land Enterprises and Korb + Associates Architects team. 

“The modern use of mass timber’s modular construction offers a competitive and sustainable alternative to the typical structural materials used in high-rise buildings, such as concrete and steel,” said John Peronto, a principal at Thornton Tomasetti, in prepared remarks. “Recent technological developments in manufacturing of wood have also led to wood products that outperform conventional sawn lumber, which allows engineers today to expand the boundaries of what timber structures can be used for.”

Rendering courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti

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