Timber buildings are increasing in their dimensions. Structural robustness is imperative for all buildings and specifically important for tall buildings. Lives can be saved if disproportionate collapse can be avoided after a catastrophic event (e.g. accident, terrorism). The literature about robustness is comprehensive concerning concrete and steel buildings, but is rather limited regarding timber. This paper reviews robustness in general and robustness of timber buildings in particular. Robustness is an intrinsic structural property, enhancing global tolerance to local failures, regardless of the cause. A deterministic approach to assess robustness is to remove certain load-bearing elements from the structure and compare the consequences to given limits. Design methods for robustness may be direct by assessing effects of local failure, or indirect by following guidelines. For robust timber buildings, the connections are the key aspects. Usually, metal connectors may provide the required joint ductility. For robust light timber-frame construction, rim beams may be designed. For timber posts and beams and cross laminated timber, guidance regarding robustness is scarce, but in some aspects they seem to be similar to steel frames and precast concrete. Future research should assess the capacity of connections, and evaluate the adequacy of seismic connectors for robust timber buildings.