The arches of laminated wood

Back of a cover with arches of laminated wood, it hides one of the best and most modern wineries of today.

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Hi, I don´t like the velocity, but I’m a fan convinced of the rapidity, if you do not understand, don’t worry, you will understand during the course of time between the beginning and the end of this text, for some reason I write articles with shortage of lines, so that you do not fall asleep on the road! (although in the background I know that you would never do it, to my, your friend Rodolfo).

The beauty of the mobile phones of today would not be possible without the famous inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, he patent the phone in 1876, this is an example of quickness and speed, because he arrived a few hours earlier than her compatriot Elisha Gray. The rapidity of Graham could with the speed of Gray, both were in a hurry but only one achieved the prize of going down in history as the person than patented the telephone. In the construction spends something like, run not always is synonymous with reach, and choose the adequate materials will give us quickly and effectively, as in the construction that I am presenting today, with a material that provides a physical and aesthetic qualities unparalleled: the laminated wood.

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See from Peñafiel Castle: The Protos winery

Countless members of my family have visited during generations (since it was built in the 10th century) the famous Penafiel Castle. I know stories that you will not believe, but now is not the time nor the place to address these issues, if I mention the castle is because from there you will have the best possible view of the architectural wonder, I’ve based this article (also) historical in this construction. It would be unforgivable (although justifiable) that you visit “our Penafiel” and you do not enjoy of the Wine Museum. From its characteristic shape of ship, looking from the ramparts you can see, towards the North, a striking triangular structure composed of five half cylinders elongated and recumbents.

The simplicity of the proposal of the architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (remember you?) fits perfectly with the style of the area… but… What say I? It doesn’t fit with the area! Indeed… I don’t think that it fits with none part of the municipality of Penafiel, neither the Castle, on the contrary: they are out of all context, so that they are unique, and are inevitably, intertwined by something that does not understand of years or entities. It is like when the grandfather spends hours with the grandson and they discover that are equal.

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This building has been put in the hands of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (which have had the invaluable help of Alonso Balaguer y Arquitectos Asociados) by the responsible for Protos, already know, the good wine (denomination of origin Rivera del Duero). The premises were clear: 10,000 square meters to build 19,450 square meters of winery in which to produce 1,000 tons of grape, store 3.500.000 bottles of wine and some 5,000 barrels. Of course the building complies with these functions and much more, and all for the modest sum of 25 million euros.

Arches of Wood

The most of the construction is hidden in the subsoil, the ideal site for treatment and the rest of the wine, the building is also connected in the subsoil with the old cellars of Protos (more than two kilometres of galleries), this burial is not casual: the temperature is low (about 15 ° Celsius), which favors the ripening and conservation of the wine. Above this are the areas of processing, fermentation and the storage tanks, the plant of bottling, the area of packaging, technical areas and, of course, access areas for vehicles. The areas of marketing, reception of guests, and, the most novel, a small Auditorium and a garden terraced with views to the castle which will delight users of offices located on the ground level.

BDEGAS PROTOS (PE„AFIEL)

The structure is formed by arches of laminated wood, which are supported in steel parts with form a “Reverse V” and that underpinned by concrete pillars, help convey the efforts to the foundation of the building. These arches are separated each other 9 meters and the distance between its points of support is 18 meters (how easy is the geometry!). These beautiful semicircumferences holding the boards (also laminated) of the cover by elements of steel (in the form of “V”) that communicate the loads to the arches. The arches always work by compression and together with the triangles, are the ways more effective to transmit the efforts, hence its wide use in architecture and engineering.  Finally emphasize the air chamber which, along with the pieces of terracotta on the outside of the cover, provide one protection against solar radiation which does not have price.

Laminated Wood

The beauty and the usefulness of the wood is not in doubt, an organic material that grows and is able to withstand the most adverse conditions, even centuries after that it was split of the life, is a marvel of the physical and the chemical. But until the wood has limits and that’s where the human ingenuity comes: the dissection of the wood in small thicknesses in form of sheets and its union by different types of adhesives establishes the laminated wood. The forms that can be taken through this material only are defined by the imagination of the designer, reaching up to thirty meters of light. If we glued the laminates with the same directions of the fibres will result in a correct transmission of efforts, this being the best way of working of the structural elements.

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The disappeared Holtza S.A. was the company that made the arches that today bring us here. For our peace of mind we should require (or suggest strongly) that the laminated wood elements have a seal of quality that endorse them as the quality seal AITIM of Spain, the certificate of the Institute Otto Grafof Germany, the certificate Acerbois Glulam of France or the famous AITC certificate of the United States of America.

The prefabricated elements give us greater rapidity in the assembly of structures but do not provide us with velocity of execution: so is my favorite the first before that the second. Bye bye.

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