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London has never really had a skyline to rival the likes of New York or Tokyo, but in recent years more and more iconic buildings have been popping up, like the Shard, the Gherkin, that Walkie Talkie building etc.

The latest addition to that list could be pretty distinctive — it could be made of wood. A team of architecture researchers from the University of Cambridge are proposing that a 300m tall building (the same size as the Shard) should be built at the Barbican, which would provide more than 1,000 new flats. The thinking is that wood is cheaper and lighter than concrete and steel, and that people will find it more attractive.

“If London is going to survive it needs to increasingly densify," said Dr Michael Ramage, director of Cambridge’s Centre for Natural Material Innovation. "One way is taller buildings. We believe people have a greater affinity for taller buildings in natural materials rather than steel and concrete towers.”

The current highest wooden building in the world is a 14-storey apartment block in Bergen, Norway.

[via Artstechnica]