All-Timber Neighborhood Fuses the Best of Urban and Rural Living

What would your neighborhood look and feel like if it were redesigned to be sustainable and made almost entirely of wood – while also retaining the local and regional characteristics that make it special? Architecture firm Henning Larsen provides some fertile inspiration for all of us with Faelledby, an all-timber neighborhood for Copenhagen fusing traditional Danish urban and rural architectural typologies to create a new kind of “hybrid neighborhood” prioritizing connection to each other and to nature.

People living in cities usually benefit from proximity to resources, like jobs, schools, hospitals, shopping and cultural attractions. Rural villagers, on the other hand, might be isolated from some of these things, but they tend to know each other a little better, and have a lot more outdoor space to roam. Henning Larsen’s new timber neighborhood aims to balance the best of both, integrating the landscape organically into the plan.

“The Vejlands community will be entirely timber construction, with individual buildings featuring birdhouses and animal habitats integrated within the building facades.”

Their choice of wood is both aesthetic and strategic. The renderings show how beautifully it’s worked into every aspect of the design, from scenic overlooks and rooftop gardens to boardwalks that wind through wetland areas.

“Compared to alternative materials such as steel or concrete, timber captures and stores CO2 during its growth – as a building material, it active removes CO2 from the environment as it is produced,” the architects explain. “Fælledby is the latest in a resurgence of timber construction throughout Scandinavia, as the region sets a global example for sustainable contemporary architecture. “