La Serrezuela: a wooden shopping centre gives bullring of the past a new life
5 July 2023 Construction
In the heart of the Colombian city of Cartagena lies La Serrezuela, a historic building and landmark of the city. The iconic construction combines a unique shopping experience with cultural and gastronomic delights, is surrounded by history and design – and made of PEFC-certified timber.
First constructed in 1893, the Serrezuela bullring was the central attraction of Cartagena for many years, accommodating 3,500 spectators. But as interest in bull fighting declined, the structure was left to deteriorate. The last bullfight in the Serrezuela took place in 1973.
In 2014, a group of national investors and promoters rebuilt the wooden arena of the past to once again host cultural activities. Four years later, the bullring was reborn as a new and unprecedented space in the city – a centre of culture, gastronomy and exclusive shopping.
The central design of the 22,000 m² complex helps to recreate visions of the old bullring with a circular central area of treated glulam pine columns. La Serrezuela is the largest wooden project in Colombia.
Leading French timber company Piveteaubois supplied over 570 m³ of PEFC-certified glulam, which involved intricate and careful treatment specifications. Each layer of pine for the laminated columns was moisture controlled before receiving a high-pressure treatment, enhancing the durability of the wood.
The use of PEFC-certified timber ensured that the building's environmental impact was minimized and helped keep the building's historic character.
By choosing sustainable materials, the designers have set an example for other construction projects in the area.
Crowned with a special award
The project netted Piveteaubois a WPA Award for Wood Protection Excellence.
Organized by the Wood Protection Association, the Award provides a showcase for the timber treatment industry and the vital role of wood protection, among others in the construction industry.
“This is an amazing and complicated project that benefitted from the use of our DURAPIN product,” said Elisabeth Piveteau-Boley, Export Sales Manager for the UK and Ireland. “The team at Piveteaubois were thrilled to win the award. We have a wealth of experience in treating timber, and glulam in particular.”