Jonny Klokk speaks at Build in Wood

The extended use of wood in buildings is part of the solution

Jonny Klokk is a partner at MAD Arkitekter. He is giving a talk at Build in Wood 18-19 May about the new Woho Tower in Berlin and how it aims to be a gamechanger when it comes to sustainability. Both in terms of environmental impact through its extensive use of wood combined with a thoroughly planned programmatic mix of program.

In this article, you can read an interview with Jonny Klokk.  

How do you and your company work with wood? 

We work with wood in different ways. Both exterior and interior. Exteriorly the most common historically has been cladding in different formats and methods.  But with our recent competition win in Berlin, we are now taking this quite a step further, and we are now in the planning phase to construct Germanys tallest timber hybrid building, Woho Tower. Interiorly, cladding and flooring has been the typical use. But over the last years we have wanted to extend the use and to use it in a broader scale; resulting in our latest venture, reusable modular office partition walls made of Norwegian Spruce, designed by our product design company Made. 

Jonny Klokk speaks at Build in Wood
Jonny Klokk, Partner, MAD Arkitekter

What do you like about wood as a building material?

I particularly like that is a natural material with a tactile quality, with a natural warmth to it. Being Norwegian I grew up in a wooden house, as most of us norwegians do. The natural warmth and smell triggers something in me. And of course, the low carbon emissions, is not a bad selling point either.

In your opinion, what are the biggest dilemmas within wood construction right now?

As with most within our industry it is mainly about knowledge and cost. We have quite a conform industry that usually prefers to work with traditional methods and materials. In a way it is not strange, building projects are often complex and expensive, so it is natural to go for the low-risk solutions. But the industry is changing, and in particular when it comes to the concerns surrounding the environmental aspects of it. The extended use of wood in buildings is part of the solution, and we need to communicate that.

What are the architectural possibilities and challenges of wood?

Wood is very versatile. It can be shaped and transformed, into structural elements and claddings, and you can develop a wide array of architectural expressions depending on the methods you use. So the possibilities are endless.

The challenge is mainly as we see it topics regarding maintenance, acoustics, fire protection and climatic limitations.  There are many good solutions to solve most of these aspects, but we welcome further research and development so that we get even more possibilities when it comes to products and detailing. 

What do you talk about at Build in Wood and what do you hope the participants will get out of hearing it? 

I will mainly focus on our recent competition win in Berlin, the Woho tower, that will be Germanys tallest timber hybrid building. It`s a project that aims to be a game changer when it comes to sustainability, both through it`s program and it`s use of wood. In Mad Arkitekter we have extensive experience working with the environmental aspects of architecture. In particular when it comes to transformation of re-use of buildings and building materials, and we want to link this knowledge to this project. 

I hope that the talk can trigger some thoughts in the participants on what role this tower with its ambitions, and the use of wood in architecture in general, can play in the green shift of architecture. 

Do you want to know more about Jonny Klokk and the Woho Tower in Berlin? 

Hear Jonny Klokk’s presentation and learn more about the Woho tower in Berlin and wood in sustainable construction at Build in Wood in Copenhagen 18.-19. May 2021. Find the program and learn more here or sign up here.

Top image: Perspective from Tempodrom, MAD Arkitekter

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