Uniquely Captivating Structures Built With Wood

Uniquely Captivating Structures Built With Wood

Recently I posted a blog about Wooden Skyscrapers. This was an interesting topic and something that I will keep an eye on and how this idea continues to grow (no pun intended).  As I was looking into this topic, I came across a number of other structures and products utilizing wood that I thought would be worth sharing.

Metropol Parasol


This is a cool structure.  It is claimed to be the largest wood structure in the world and is located in the middle of Seville, Spain.  It was designed by J. MAYER H. Architects.  The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms (In Spain it is called “Las setas”), whose design is inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the fichus trees in nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos.  Construction began in 2005 and was completed in 2011.


Realized as one of the largest and most innovative bonded timber-constructions with a polyurethane coating, the parasols grow out of the archaeological excavation site into a contemporary landmark, defining a unique relationship between the historical and the contemporary city.” J. MAYER H. Architects.

The structure will serve in a number of different capacities such as an archaeological site, accommodating a farmers’ market, an elevated plaza as well as multiple bars and restaurants.

There is some steel and concrete as part of the structure, but for the most part wood is the main material.


Amazing to me the ideas and concepts that people can envision and then to be able to build a structure like this. 

Kizhi Pogost


This structure has been around for more than 150 years and is said to be the tallest entirely wooden building at 123 feet tall.  It is located in western Russia on the island of Kizhi.  It is part of complex of buildings that serve as a Russian Orthodox Church.  The buildings were completed in 1862 and are made entirely of wood, including the “nails”.  The structure is made of scribe-fitted horizontal logs with interlocking corner joinery.


There are 22 domes and an internal vault shaped like a pyramid.  102 religious icons from the 17th and 18th centuries are displayed inside the structure.

The domes are covered by a sock. Sock – is a small tile with step-shaped edges, handmade from aspen. There are about 30 thousand of such socks in Kizhi.

The site was named a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1990.


This looks like a cool product.


This product was developed by Giulio Masotti and Gianluca Lo Presti from the design studio MammaFotogramma while working on the design of a rock climbing gym in Montreal.

Basically it is a sheet of plywood that is routed to create the triangular tiles and held together by a vinyl mesh.

Masotti states that “At that time we were looking for a solution that would fulfill our need to create complex shapes.  What we created was a skin that would allow us to focus on the structure and would adapt to it, leaving the builder the total control with the flexibility to change the forms at any moment during the whole process.”


You can check out the web site at wood-skin.com for more info and a video.

Hope you found these structures and product as interesting as I did.  Check back to see what else we may come across. What kind of unique things have you seen made from wood?

Bill Hoover – Design Professional

Gould Design, Inc.

5 thoughts on “Uniquely Captivating Structures Built With Wood

  1. We furnished the University of Iowa the roof structure for their Recreational Building consisting of three buildings of 120 ft cross vaults of glued laminated wood and heavy timber decking: Photo attached (how do I post photo?)