Mies Van der Rohe, hypothetical pioneer in mass timber construction

Jordi Brué Pérez


Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Mies van der Rohe as the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, is a symbolic work of the Modernist Architecture. Following the closure of the exhibition, the pavilion was dismantled, but became an architectural landmark and was rebuilt in 1986.

The pavilion was built with materials such as glass, steel and 4 different types of stone. The most innovative thing in this project was the use of this type of material with a rigor in its geometry and a high precision of its parts and its clarity in the assembly.

If we imagine an hypothetical Barcelona pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe today, it would not be a misconception that the main material used for this type of construction was Mass Timber and its CLT panels. Precision and rigor in geometry and production even more perfect than in the 1929 pavilion would be guaranteed. Achieving more lightness in the construction elements and exponentially facilitating the production and assembly process of the pavilion.

The pavilion could be built high above the level of the site, with a large base formed by CLT panels, on top of which would be mounted the walls of cross laminated wood combined with large glazed enclosures and a flat roof with large spans between walls will be saved by the large mass timber panels. The assembly process would be short-lived, and in the disassembly phase all parts could be reused in future assemblies, or permanently established on site. “Less is more” – Mies van der Rohe

In the analysis of the environmental impact and CO2 generation of the two types of buildings, one using stone and steel materials, and the other using laminated wood, the result is a high improvement and sustainable evolution worthy of the innovative and advanced style of the architect Mies van der Rohe.


#geometry #masstimberpavilion #lightness #assemblyanddisassembly



THE MODERN ARCHITECTURE TO MASS TIMBER is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at Master in Mass Timber Design in 2021/2022 by Students:  Jordi Brué Pérez. Faculty: Daniel Ibañez. Course: Narratives 1