Korea Forest Service Deputy Minister Choi Byeong-am wants to see Korea embrace timber as key construction material for the future. “Imagine a wooden skyscraper in the heart of Seoul,” Choi said. “You may see it in the near future. Wooden buildings are more eco-friendly, sustainable and aesthetic than concrete ones. Increasingly, people are rediscovering the value of the old material.” Choi points to the recently completed Hangreen, a 19.1-meter wooden building in Yeongju, which he says symbolizes the new trend in Korea. The five-story structure, mainly made of Korean larch, a common tree species here, marks only the beginning of a new era of architecture. So, in theory, architects and engineers today can build a modern town ― or an entire city ― mostly out of wood. This is one of the plans Choi has in mind.
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