An environmental friendly architectural solution for internal isolation pandemic has appeared in the Collserola park of Barcelona. A group of students and word researchers Catalonia Institute of Advanced Architecture (IAAC) Valldaura Labs recently completed The Voxel, a solar-powered “isolated” cabin built entirely of super-local structural CLT in just five months. The cabin accommodates one person in a space that not only brings comfort to oneself but also shows the potential of a circular bio-economy in construction.
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Voxel, short for volumetric pixel, was designed and built between April and August 2020 as part of the IAAC’s Master in-depth Master Program in Ecological Buildings and Biological Cities (MAEBB). A group of 17 students and five volunteers from 15 countries built cabin used 40 Aleppo Pine trees that were cut down within a radius of less than one km from the site and processed at the nearby Valldaura Labs carpentry facility. The resulting hundreds of pine wood slats have been individually cataloged to allow original traceability before they are pressed against the more than 30 CLT panels used for the cabin’s 12-square-meter structure.
Instead of metal connections, the design team used wooden ring and pin joints for fastening CLT panels to further reduce the project’s carbon footprint. A layer of insulating cork is sandwiched between the structural frame and the rain shields made from waste materials during CLT production. The outside panels are also burned with Japan the ban on shou sugi techniques to increase durability. “These cuts have been turned into a facade showing the organic complexity of a tree that is often hidden in most wooden constructions,” said the design team.
The “isolated” cabin is equipped with three solar panels, independent battery storage as well as a sustainable water system that collects rainwater, recycles gray water and treats black water in a closed area. Biogas system.
Photography by Adrià Goula through IAAC Valldaura Labs