Barcelona Pavilion reimagined in Carbon-Saving Wood


“Mass is More” is an intervention in the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion by the Institut d’Arquitectura Avançada de Catalunya (IAAC) and Bauhaus Earth that explores the use of regenerative and decarbonizing architectural materials exposing the multi-layered processes behind the construction of the built environment.

-Fundació Mies van der Rohe

What were the environmental consequences of Mies’s material choices? 

“Mass is More” – a direct reference to the English saying “Less is more” – creates a dialogue between the most advanced materials of the 20th and 21st centuries – and their consequences.

The mass timber CLT panels composing all elements of the installation, sustainably sourced from Spanish forests, are used in a way that gracefully demonstrates the performative, structural, and tactile capacities of this material. While creating a respectful dialogue with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich’s original pavilion, the installation proposes a radical material departure from modernism—concrete and steel—in favor of renewable, carbon storing, regionally and sustainably sourced biomaterials. Through a series of interventions, the installation showcases the potential of mass timber construction and proposes a future of radical decarbonization supported by bioregionalism and material circularity that fosters upcycling and reuse.

The installation showcases the potential of mass timber construction and proposes a future of radical decarbonization.

This space serves as the venue for the launching of Mass Madera, a Spanish mass timber building network promoted by Built by Nature. The installation has been produced by the Finsa and Xilonor, a galician timber company, and incorporate a visual environmental representation developed together with Bestiario. “Mass is More” is part of the events of the European Forest City 2022 that will take place in Barcelona organized by the European Forest Institute, with the support of the Metropolitan Area and the Barcelona City Council.

Facts & Credits
Project title Mass is More 
Team     Daniel Ibáñez, Vicente Guallart – Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC),  Alan Organschi – Bauhaus Earth (BE)
Location  Barcelona, Spain
Photography  Adrià Goula
Year 2022


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