Mobile wooden lattices on facade

Mobile wooden lattices are an alternative to the design of facades and envelopes where innovation and sustainability are combined. There are several aspects that play a great role in the creation of this product, taken into account in our continuous research on wood.

Several technical articles on wood facades, written by our architect Verónica Sancho _head of the technical department of Grupo GUBIA_, were enough for the renowned office of urban analysis and cultural research OHLAB to ask us for advice on two of their most representative projects with wood.


Perspectives / visualizations of the project
Sliding lattices in residential building Paseo de Mallorca, image by OHLAB.

Perspectives / visualizations of the project
Mobile lattices at residential building Paral-lel East&West, image by OHLAB

In both cases a three-dimensional image serves as the basis for the beginning of an arduous research on wood species. This includes everything related to finishes, constructive solutions, type of movement transmission…

The location in both cases is the same, Palma de Mallorca, so the climatic conditions of exposure of the wood are the same. The use class is also 3.1, where the structural element must be located outdoors, above the ground and protected. For both wood skins, Scots pine wood with a thermo-D treatment is chosen, which gives the wood a durability 2. The first step is to check the technical qualities of the thermally modified wood from the leading manufacturers of heat-treated wood, according to the parameters of the Thermowood Association. This also includes visits to the place of origin to see their procedures, facilities, finished product…

Choice of wood in warehouses

Development of mobile lattices

The movements of the mobile wooden lattices, which are very different in both projects, lead to a “testing” of graphic solutions in which systems are proposed. After this, they are checked with the authors of the project, modifications are made, full-scale models are made to test movements, weights… In order to reach the ideal construction detail to ensure the durability over time of the wood and the final solution.

Diagram and mock-ups of wooden lattices
First sketches and mock-ups by Grupo GUBIA for the mobile wooden lattices for Paseo de Mallorca 15

Testing of sliding and motorized lattices
Different systems of folding lattice systems: aluminum-wood, wood-wood for the Paral-lel residential complex.

Models of mobile wooden lattices in workshop
Images of details on real models by Grupo GUBIA for the movable latticework of Paseo de Mallorca 15

Tests are carried out in the workshop and independent laboratories to check movements, joints, details, etc. on the finishes. We can mention the tests of adhesion by traction, resistance to abrasion, artificial aging of wood coatings by exposure to fluorescent UV lamps and water. Natural aging tests, gloss index determination, grating cut tests, etc. have also been carried out.

Wood testing and samples

In the case of Paseo de Mallorca 15, in addition, since the geometry of the corners and crowning is complex, real models are also made. The aim of this is to ensure that the final result matches the design images.

Latticework models in the workshop

The final result of both facades is in both cases a replica of the images received years ago brought to reality.

Movable wooden lattices in Paseo de Mallorca
Photos of the sliding lattice of Paseo de Mallorca executed by Grupo GUBIA

Motorized mobile lattices in La Bonanova building
Photos of the folding lattice of Paral-lel executed by Grupo GUBIA

Final thoughts

In both examples, the proposal for the projected envelopes was satisfactorily achieved. The case of mobile wooden lattices on the facade is a more and more current issue in terms of design solutions in architecture. Looking for sustainability in an applied way with the technical knowledge about the material is the constant challenge that our team undertakes. Part of this work and its results is the constant effort to implement these studies within the constructible spectrum, due to the weight we give to technical solutions in our research.