Berlin Reichstag, Germany

The Plan B project: reconstructing the Reichstag from wood

  • 8 Apr 2016

Metsä Wood’s Plan B project challenges the preconceptions of wood construction by recreating iconic buildings using wood.

Reichstag-dome-HQ

Metsä Wood’s version of the Reichstag dome is made out of Kerto by cutting the pieces into shape.

As part of Plan B, Metsä Wood and Andreas Rutschmann of FH Finnholz have created an alternative design for the Reichstag, the home of the German parliament.

The Reichstag combines styles from different decades. The original building was designed by architect Paul Wallot and was completed in 1894.

The building housed the Imperial Diet until 1933 when it was severely damaged by a fire, after which the building was left unused for a long period of time. 

The building was reconstructed after the German reunification in 1990, with the works led by renowned architect Sir Norman Foster. It became the home of the German parliament in 1999.

Laminated veneer lumber

Reconstructing the Reichstag with wood posed three specific technical challenges; recreating the entrance with wooden columns, the wooden dome structure which sits on top and the wood frame office.

Metsä Wood’s Kerto LVL (laminated veneer lumber) was chosen as the ideal material for the reconstruction for being lightweight, easy to construct with and possessing excellent green credentials.

Environmental credentials

The Plan B project will be presented to the parliament’s Department of Energy. Wood construction presents an ideal way to battle climate change because it produces a negative CO2 footprint, as timber traps carbon.

Jari Tikkanen, Metsä Wood’s Senior Vice President of Building & Industry, commented that “if the Reichstag was constructed out of wood today, it would easily be awarded the Golden Certificate (DGNB).”

In addition to the Reichstag, the Plan B project has seen Metsä Wood develop historical reconstructions of the Empire State Building and the Roman Colosseum out of wood. The designs and in-depth case studies can be found on the Metsä Wood website.

Visit Metsä Wood's website

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