Cork has once again been chosen for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion. Supplied by Corticeira Amorim, the world's largest cork processing group, this genuinely Portuguese raw material will have a prominent place in one of the world's leading architectural exhibitions. 200 m2 of cork are used, responding to questions around sustainability.on sustainability.
Cork was first used in the Serpentine Summer Pavilion in 2012, in a project signed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. On that occasion, it was integrated within a circular structure comprised of around 100 items of furniture made of Portuguese agglomerated cork. The results spoke for themselves: it enjoyed the highest-ever number of visitors to the summer pavilions of the famous London art gallery.
Counterspace is the South African architecture collective that was founded and directed by Summaya Vally, a recent TIME100 Next List honoree.. It is the 20th entity to design the Serpentine Summer Pavilion. Launched in 2020, on the 50th anniversary of the Serpentine Galleries, the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic led the project to be extended into a two-year programme (2020/21), an unprecedented decision. This offered the opportunity to leverage a set of research, reflection and debate initiatives aimed at creating significant connections between the structure, people and communities.
Sumayya Vallyis the youngest architect to be chosen to lead Serpentine's iconic architecture programme said:. 'Cork was chosen because of its moulding capacity, malleability and flexibility, making it possible to recreate different spaces inside the pavilion, aligned with the pavilion's objective of recovering and reconfiguring the local and material context'. On the basis of this assumption, and in addition to the fact that cork stands because of its unique sustainability credentials - as a 100% natural, ecological, renewable, recyclable and reusable raw material - the construction of the pavilion uses other green materials - including recycled steel for the structural elements.
Subverting the normal permanence of architecture, the Serpentine Summer Pavilion is conceived as an event that, in this edition, will include a set of movable elements that will be installed in different London neighbourhoods to promote and facilitate improvised meetings and interactions, in honour of the places and structures that have consolidated communities over time. The project focuses on the experiences of peripheral and migrant communities in the British capital. It offers an invitation to reflect on ideas associated to architecture, design, the environment, the community and well-being.
These themes are perfectly aligned with Corticeira Amorim's mission, as the company director, Cristina Rios de Amorim, explains: 'to add value to cork in a competitive, differentiated and innovative manner, in perfect harmony with Nature'. She reiterates that Corticeira Amorim always strives to uphold 'the permanent objective of contributing to a better, more inclusive and fair world', adding that 'it is equally reassuring to see the recognition that cork has gained from renowned artists, designers and architects around the world. Year after year, we find that we have won new adherents to our cause: no product can match cork's attributes. It offers so much, and is a solution suitable for so many applications, enabling it to make an exemplary contribution to the fight against climate change. This event once again highlights cork on the world stage of creativity and innovation, and we are sure that it will be widely appreciated, repeating the success and notoriety that was achieved 9 years ago'.
Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Counterspace, Exterior View © Counterspace Photo: Iwan Baan
Corticeira Amorim SGPS SA published this content on 14 June 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 14 June 2021 15:13:02 UTC.