Spanish building wins ‘certified timber’ prize

The judges praised the project for its ‘masterful control of light’ and technical innovation.

Paseo Mallorca-15 by Ohlab architects is the winner of the 2022 ‘Best use of Certified Timber’ prize, supported by the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).

The prize recognises architects for their use of certified timber as a key element of their project and something that makes it stand out in terms of sustainability, innovation, quality and aesthetics.

The World Architecture Forum and PEFC awarded the prize for the fourth time.

Set on a tree-lined promenade in the heart of the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca, Paseo Mallorca 15 is a new residential complex for client Ramis Promociones and has sustainability and energy efficiency at heart.

The striking façade, supplied by grupo Gubia, is made of PEFC-certified Scots pine that has been thermally modified due to the building’s close proximity to the sea.

This treatment gives the timber minimal contractions and expansion movements. Vertical timber slats are brushed on all sides, with different sections and separations, and then fixed to an anodised aluminium frame.

More than 350 fixed and sliding timber panels change the vision of the building continually and act as a solar filter.

The design reflects traditional Majorcan carpentry and, according to Ohlab, is a “re-reading of the island’s traditional materials and systems carried out in an abstract and contemporary key, creating a building that seeks to be totally efficient and sustainable, as well as creating a pleasant and stimulating sensory experience for its inhabitants”.

Two types of facades define the exterior of the building. A permeable skin of wooden slats filters the sun, playing with light and shadow in the daytime area of the dwellings. Another stony facade protects the bedrooms.

The project has been designed according to Passivhaus standards to achieve maximum energy efficiency and to provide a healthy, comfortable living environment. Passivhaus standards aim to achieve an air-conditioning demand of less than 15 kW per hour, meaning heating and cooling requirements are reduced by up to 90% compared to a conventional building.

The winner was announced at a gala dinner on 2 December, by PEFC’s Head of Marketing, Fabienne Sinclair. The judges praised the project for its “masterful control of light” and “timeless beauty and technical innovation”.

“The building shows the many ways that PEFC-certified material can deliver sustainability to global building design,” said Fabienne Sinclair.

In addition to the winning project, the jury honoured the Växjö Town Hall and train station project by Sweco with a ‘Highly commended’ prize.

One of the largest wooden buildings in Sweden, Växjö was built in skeleton construction with a wooden frame of PEFC-certified cross-glued wooden elements, and Binderholz CLT ceilings.

The many visible wooden elements inside the building, such as ceilings, wall coverings, floors and stairs, help create a warm and welcoming feeling.


One of the largest wooden buildings in Sweden, Växjö Town Hall and train station is built with a wooden frame of PEFC-certified cross-glued wooden elements.




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