World’s tallest wooden tower: Perth expert says plans for South Perth set to become ‘landmark’ for nation

Plans for the world’s tallest wooden tower in South Perth will be remembered as a “landmark for sustainable development” across the country, according to Dr. Roberto Minunno of Curtin University.

PerthNow earlier this month unveiled plans for the world’s tallest $350 million hybrid wooden tower with 245 apartments on 48 levels that could soon be built at 6 Charles Street.

Developer Grange Development wants to build a 183 m high residential building with apartments with one, two, three, and four bedrooms and a roof of 500 m2 with an edible garden.


dr. Minunno – who works for the university’s Sustainability Policy Institute – said the number of hybrid wooden towers is increasing worldwide, but not so much in Australia.

“Not only would this development be a first for Perth, but it would also likely be remembered as a milestone for sustainable development in Australia,” he said.

wooden tower

Dr. Minunno said cost, detailing, the complexity of construction, assembly, and skill level required was some of the constraints that could prevent hybrid wood buildings from becoming more common.

“However, the market always needs innovators and examples. This development could be an example that we need to increase the popularity of hybrid constructions,” he said.

The April plans submitted to the City of South Perth include a split-level, four-story, a ground-floor open-air piazza with a playground, cinema, horticultural zone, and entertainment area.

Named C6, after the symbol of the periodic table for carbon, it would become the state’s first carbon-negative building, with only the Atlassian hybrid timber tower in Sydney currently on the way to a similar carbon-negative status.

Camera icon An artist’s impression of the world’s tallest hybrid wooden tower. Credit: Grange Development Consulting and Costa Property Group

“It will be remembered because its success will mean that this technology can lead to sustainable high-rise buildings,” said Dr. Minunno.

“It also means buildings in Western Australia can compete globally.”

dr. Minunno said processed wood tends to be more resistant than concrete and wood.

“Concrete – one of the most widely used materials in the world – is problematic because, while it can be cast into various shapes and has a high resistance to compression, it is not very good when under traction,” he said.

“Steel is fantastic, but it can buckle.

“A hybrid structure primarily uses wood and other materials such as steel and glass, exploiting all the ir strengths.”

When asked why other WA developers have not made wooden towers of this nature, Dr. Minunno said that the state was isolated from the rest of the world and tha too complex to get the right components or materials.

“Land and buildings around the city’s center are becoming increasingly scarce, and so their costs are rising exponentially,” he said.

“High-rise sustainable buildings combine the advantages of fast and environmentally friendly building materials, which should be the way forward.”

John D.Mayne
I love to write. When I wasn’t writing for my school newspaper or college blog, I was writing personal essays and journal entries. Then I discovered I loved to write. In college, I wrote for my school paper and my campus radio show. I started doing freelance writing for the Huffington Post in 2009. Then, I joined the team at Newsmyth as a writer/editor. Now, I spend most of my time writing for Newsmyth and as a guest blogger on a handful of other blogs. When I’m not writing, I like to read, travel, cook, and spend time with friends.