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Portalen Pavilion

©Ricard Estay
Closeup of the timber gridshell ©Ricard Estay

Map13 Barcelona
Edyta Augustynowicz
Summum Engineering



Summun Engineering



Norrköping, Sweden



Completed June 2020

Architects Map13 Barcelona along with engineers Summum Engineering and Edyta Augustynowicz recently completed the Portalen Pavilion, a lightweight timber gridshell, located in Norrköping, Sweden. It serves as a new space for cultural activities and meetings initiated by the Statens Konstråd (Public Art Agency), collaborating with Norrköpings Konstmuseum and Portalen. Summum Engineering used Karamba3D during the initial design phases to study different design options and interations.

Text by Summum Engineering:

The Portalen Pavilion consists of two layers of timber laths in two directions, forming a grid. The grid can be built as a flat mat on the ground, and then lifted to form a three-dimensional curved surface that works as an efficient shell structure. The grid is supported by four curving edges meeting at the four corners. These open arches made of glued laminated timber. Instead of deploying the grid, the contractor opted to build the grid lath by lath, using the edges and a temporary support as guidework. After bracing the grid with steel cables, the entire shell was covered by polycarbonate sheets. This cladding allows for light to pass through, transforming the perception of the interior and the exterior space.

Overview of the Portalen ©Ricard Estay
Axometry of the gridshell ©Map13 Barcelona
Construction of the gridshell layers ©Map13 Barcelona
Wind loads ©Summum Engineering
Deformations under wind load combinations in Karamba3D ©Summum Engineering
Overview of the Portalen ©Ricard Estay

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Read more: Summum Engineering | Map13