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The light wooden framework is being used and we want to present you some examples some examples to think about them. These 3 cases present a contemporary use of the system consisting of battens. We value the battens as it may be more related to the first case of the traditional armor of Canadian wooden structures and the “ballon frame” of English-speaking world buildings.

Or also as the last 2 cases where the position of the heat-treated batten becomes the finishing element of the ventilated façade. Did you know that this treatment also increases its thermal properties? By becoming an inert material, because this treatment burns its inner lignin.


Forest dwelling, Gunma, Japan; Go Hasewaga, 2010: This house is for weekends in Kita-Karizuawa forest. The grove is not touched and it is raised on pilotis, blending the elevated interior of the house and the exterior of the ground floor with the forest. The scale of the rooms is reduced in height and elements, so that through the large windows, it enters the bypass of the forest.

The structural framework of the casing of the cantilever box is a light wooden framework with the ribs of sawn battens. The thermal insulation is between them and it is finished with a ribbed plate panel.


Reform and repair of facades of the UPV / EHU Donostia Campus Teaching School Donostia- San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa; estudio.k, 2011: In the various roof cassettes, the brick enclosures became load-bearing walls. As there is no concrete structure, it was not possible to install the substructure for a ventilated brick facade. Because of this reason, a different treatment has been chosen for ventilated light-latticework of battens in slats of heat-treated and stable wood, after placing the insulation. Also in the elements of finishing in hollows, top of roofs and the East volumen of the gymnasium in ground floor.

This light framework has facilitated the execution of a dry assembly work avoiding the demolition of the existing facing and the relation with the roof.

Extension of the Faculty of Fine Arts UPV / EHU Bizkaia Campus, estudio.k, 2012: Fitted volume of the set. It is a construction of which structure is hidden by the enclosure; sometimes it is a curtain wall with structural silicone (ground floor) and the rest with a steel framework and glued laminated wood, protected by a skin of diamond-shaped pieces of thermo-treated wood arranged on the solives. A sound-absorbing acoustic treatment consisting of a CLT cross-laminated timber panel, covered with mineral wool insulation + plasterboard and finished in “Topakustik” type acoustic plates, is carried out inside. As a result, the interior of the TV set is achieved with 176.31m2 free configuring it and 6m free high.

The framework is treated as several pyramidal volumes with the triangular 2-dimensional plans of battens that configure the faces of these pyramids. Its geometry is diverse, elaborating the random compositional pattern in the position of the vertex and the size of the battens planes.


In these 2 local examples, the battens are made of Radiata pine. It is healthy and Km0 material from the country’s forests and produced by the Basque industry.

Thermo-treated wood is heated to a very high temperature, between 190°C and 230°C. This treatment alone, without any addition of chemicals, changes the internal structure and properties of the wood. Once treated, the wood is stable and it has a long lifespan. Wood enhances its appearance and also acquires a warm color that makes it interesting for some applications. It ages naturally. In Europe, the benefits of this technology have been known for forty years. In Canada, on the other hand, the commercial applications of this wood have been developed in the last decade, mainly.

We also want to remind you that in our construction culture the light framework has been used in the tradition of the Cantabrian cornice (timber light Cantabrian partitions, replacing brick partitions) and in the Huesca Pyrenees (support for roofs in the area from Jaca). The sawn wooden batten is the protagonist in the constructive encounters of the sloping roofs in places where the snow transforms the architectural landscape, due its presence in at least 2 seasons of the year.

So, now that you know a little more about the ballon frame, do you like wooden buildings? If so please leave us  feedback, thank you!