Mass is more, industrialized wood in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion

The architects Daniel Ibáñez and Vicente Guallart from the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and Alan Organschi from Bauhaus Earth have designed, at the initiative of the MASS MADERA wood construction network, an expansion of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona using the material that collects many of the concerns of the architecture of the beginning of this century, industrialized solid wood.

“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth. Photography: ©Adria Goula.

With this expansion in the form of stairs, new walls, cantilevered roof, floating plate and even a replica of the mythical onyx wall, a dialogue is established between Modern Architecture, which sought exact solutions to function, and the new architecture of buildings of minimum energy expenditure throughout its construction, life, maintenance and dismantling process, typical of the 21st century.

Mass is more industrialized wood in the Mies van der

“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth.

The transformation of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion

The architects Daniel Ibanez Y Vincent Guallart of the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) Y Alan Organchi of Bauhaus Earth They propose, through a material transformation of the pavilion, to reflect on how to regenerate our cities through the use of low-emission materials, in order to achieve the EU’s environmental objectives for 2050.

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“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth.

“Mass is More” intends to deepen the discussion on Biocities and new ways of designing and managing urban environments, based on the principles of the circular bioeconomy, reflecting on our relationship with our forests and new ways of building.

Through a series of pieces built with panels of cross-laminated timber (CLT) sourced from local forests, this installation demonstrates the structural capabilities of this material and its suitability for building more sustainable buildings, producing a much lower environmental impact.

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“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth. Photography: ©Adria Goula.

All the pieces that make up this installation have been produced by Xylonora Galician company focused on offering CLT from nearby forests, which belongs to the FINSA Group.

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“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth.

The design of the installation respects the formal grid of the original pavilion, creating an alternative narrative and a different way of experiencing the site.

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“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth. Photography: ©Adria Goula.

The entrance to the space reverses the traditional circulation, with an access through the rear garden, through the trees, the ultimate protagonists of this action. Through an elevated walkway you access a cantilever that offers unprecedented views of the Barcelona pavilion. This platform gives access to a small auditorium where small meetings and talks will be held.

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“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth. Photography: ©Adria Goula.

A 12 x 2.5 meter panel of industrialized wood has been installed in the pavilion’s pond, illustrating the process used in the 19th century to transport material directly from the forest to the factory via the river.

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“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth. Photography: ©Adria Goula.

Inside, the luxurious onyx central wall of the pavilion is reinterpreted with new textures created from a CLT panel composed of multiple species of wood. Illustrating the original geometry of marble, the panel undergoes digital milling processes to create a warm and lush three-dimensional topography capable of revealing the various layers that comprise it.

Diorama and comparative app

In addition to the physical installation, the exhibition consists of a 4.8 meter long diorama that shows the path that wood takes from the forest to the city and its properties in terms of carbon storage along the way.

An interactive digital application developed by Bestiario, a company specializing in data visualization, offers a comparison between the measured environmental impacts of the 1929 Barcelona Pavilion and the new solid wood installation. To fairly compare both structures, only architectural elements, such as the roof, walls, columns, and floor, were considered. The comparative analysis includes the carbon emissions incorporated in each element, as well as the energy used, the kilometers traveled and the steps taken during the different extraction, manufacturing, transport and assembly processes.

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“Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth. Photography: ©Adria Goula.

A video installation by the filmmaker Jaume Cebolla shows the material transformations undergone by the wood collected for the construction of the structure from a first-person perspective.

WOOD MASS

Industrialized solid wood has the potential to create an exemplary model of the circular economy: it is a material of renewable origin, its use promotes sustainable forest management, it has the capacity to store CO2, it is light, easy to transport, insulating and a material structural that allows rapid construction techniques, with greater control of the work, lower risks and less pollution.

Promoting the construction of ecological buildings, with the objective of the highest level of decarbonization of architecture, is what has led to the birth of MASS MADERA, a national network made up of 40 members, subsidized by Built by Nature that establishes, coordinates and connects to key agents who work together to increase the area built with industrialized solid wood structures and thus reduce CO2 emissions associated with the building sector.

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Diorama. “Mass is more” at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona. Authors: IAAC and Bauhaus Earth. Photography: ©Adria Goula.

Cities play a fundamental role as a place to absorb CO2 emissions and manage to keep us below 1.5/2 degrees of global warming. Most of the emissions from buildings occur during the construction process, including the origin of the materials, rather than in the emissions derived from their operation.

In this context, a sustainably managed productive forest is the best natural solution for absorbing emissions.

The transformation towards the use of wood in the urban environment requires incentives to break down the barriers that limit its acceleration: from the insecurities of the sector itself, the lack of companies and experts specialized in industrialized solid wood, the lack of incentives and specific regulations that facilitate the use of this material or the ignorance of the promoters of the benefits of wood for the user and for their urban and residential developments. To overcome all these obstacles, MASS MADERA has been created.

Barcelona Protocol

Within the framework of this event, the BARCELONA PROTOCOL: European Action Plan for Cities and the Earth was also presented.

Given that the future of the earth, its ecosystems and our own civilization will be decided in and by cities, it is necessary to ensure that the materials, means and methods with which we build and manage our cities are mainly extracted from regionally available biological resources. and managed sustainably. Only in this way can we transform urban settlements, guilty of climate change, into catalysts for ecosystem healing.

This idea of ​​a regenerative built environment is outlined in the 2022 Charter for Cities and Earth, launched in Rome. Now is the time to translate this idea into reality. The BARCELONA PROTOCOL calls on European cities to take the lead and develop an action plan.

The document, which has been developed by an international team with the participation of Bauhaus Earth, IAAC, EFI Biocities Facility and Barcelona City Council, defines specific actions to be carried out in the short term; such as carrying out a CO2 census of all buildings in order to measure the need for their energy rehabilitation, as well as requesting that all projects to be built must first define that they will be carried out with zero emissions and using biomaterials from the region.

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Mass is more, industrialized wood in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion


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