Vertical Forest Project

Barcelona, Spain | Spain | Most Enginyers SL
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Most of us are familiar with the concept of vertical gardens. We see them in hotels, on the street and at exhibitions to name but a few possible places. But something new and much grander is taking root in Barcelona, Spain: one of the world's first vertical woods. Promoted by La Caixa Foundation as a gift celebrating 20 years of Barcelona’s Caixa Forum. It will accommodate 22,000 plants, 12 large trees 'suspended' in the air, and all the services needed in a total surface area of 535 m² - conceived, modelled and designed from an engineering perspective by a team from Most Enginyers SL.

About the project

The Caixa Forum in Barcelona, Spain is celebrating its twenty year anniversary and is creating this vertical wood as a gift to the city.

The underlying structure comprises of some sixty tonnes of steel modeled in Tekla Structures with nearly all of the connections modeled and designed in IDEA StatiCa Connection.

The war in Ukraine put unexpected pressure on minimising steel costs and IDEA StatiCa was the ideal tool to enable us to do this.
Antonio Lara Silva
Antonio Lara Silva
Structural Engineer – Most Enginyers SL

Prefabrication of the main trusses meant that there were several complicated intersections.  The geometrical constraints coupled with the necessity to reduce steel costs through optimised connections led the team to use IDEA StatiCa Connection.

Engineering challenges

Particular attention was paid to the corrosion protection and the cyclic loading of the structure in its design with details suitable for galvanisation and fatigue being utilised.

The steel details and connections for the 'baskets' holding the trees were especially complicated but the team from Most Enginyers SL came up with a rather ingenious method to evaluate this physically using a K'NEX model before converting this into the digital!  This had an additional benefit in conveying the design intent to the rest of the team - as well as being fun!

There are several complicated connections with adverse load effects that IDEA StatiCa Connection proved invaluable for in arriving at an efficient and elegant solution.  However, it is also true to say that most of the connections on the project had some form of complexity be that from geometry or loading or both.

During the construction phase an issue developed with an out of tolerance pile position which necessitated a quick turn around for a revised connection. Without IDEA StatiCa we would not have been able to respond as quickly as did.
Josep Farre
Josep Farre
Structural Engineer – Most Enginyers SL

To keep projects costs within budget thin wall hollow sections were used.  Particular attention was paid the stiffness of each connection with additional stiffeners being used to control local buckling of the plates.  IDEA StatiCa connection allowed the team at Most Enginyers to overcome these design constraints and create designs that are both elegant and efficient.

About Most Enginyers SL

Most Enginyers SL is a multi-disciplinary firm of consulting engineers based in Barcelona, Spain.  It was conceived in 2004 by three founding partners: Lluís Acero Sistach, Barbara Da Silva Rosa and Dusko Hadzijanev Ardiaca.  They have lots of complimentary experience across many disciplines.  This enables them to provide engineering services across a variety of projects from conception to creation.

The firm won the Large Scale Projects: Steel category in the IDEA StatiCa Excellence Awards 2023.

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Most Enginyers SL

Most Enginyers SL

Most Enginyers was established in 2004 by three founding partners. It is based in the heart of vibrant city of Barcelona, Spain. Details