A few years ago, mass timber entered the market to innovate the construction sector, and today the challenge around the world is no longer to discover how to use this technology, but rather to break records. A battle of giants has begun to discover who can surpass, with their new constructions, the height of the tallest existing mass timber buildings.

From 2019 to 2021, the Mjøstårnet building in Norway led the ranking with its incredible 18 floors and 85.4 meters in height, but it was surpassed in 2022 by the Ascent, a skyscraper in Milwaukee with over 86 meters in height.

This giant of the construction industry was designed by Korb + Associates Architects and features 25 floors, housing luxury apartments and retail stores. It is a hybrid construction, with concrete in its base and central core, and featuring columns, beams, and slabs made of pinewood-based mass timber.


Building Ascent, located in Milwaukee and constructed with mass timber

Ascent, Milwaukee | Photo: Korb + Associates Architects


Its design is biophilic, and the project preferred to leave the wood exposed whenever possible, thus providing a more pleasant environment and improving the well-being of its residents and visitors.

Regarding the construction of the Ascent, it took less than 2 years to be completed, saving 3 to 4 months of construction time compared to a conventional building.

Today, the amount of wood it contains absorbs the equivalent amount of CO2 as removing 2,400 cars from the road for a year.



But of course, now that this battle of titans has begun, it would not stop there; we already have a prediction of a new ranking leader for 2026: The Rocket & Tigerli, a project to be built in Winterthur, Switzerland, by the Danish studio Schmidt Hammer Lassen, with an incredible height of 100 meters.

And this is just the beginning; now, with many technological challenges overcome, it is expected that we will see mass timber buildings increasingly in greater numbers and even taller. Mass timber is the future of the construction industry.

But what do you think of this destiny that has already become a reality?