Urban ladder By Angela Monge & Javier Hernandez

Urban ladder

By Angela Monge & Javier Hernandez


The most beneficial way to construct a city above a city is to create a symbiotic relationship between the new and the old. The arrival of new development in otherwise compact areas that allows for residents to live close to their place of work. Inhabiting a lightweight urban stair linking two buildings, a wooden ladder leaning and borrowing the structure of its symbiotic host. Using multi-use wooden units that shift and slide based on desired position, creating variations of the same form. Pragmatically nestled in the voids between buildings and on rooftops reduces the urban footprint whilst providing mutually beneficial circulation between two buildings. One such case study is downtown financial district in San Francisco California. The density, need for affordable housing for young professionals, and value of real estate in the area make the financial district ideal for the target buyers/renters. The modularity and flexibility of the building creates not only housing but communal spaces such as gardens, lobbies, courtyards, and smoker’s balconies. The interchangeability of the units and module allow the structure to reside in many cityscapes around the world. ​​

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs