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Cork once again chosen as elected material for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion

Cork once again chosen as elected material for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion

200m2 of cork respond to South African architecture collective Counterspace challenge to build a sustainability-focused installation. Blog

Cork is, once again, the elected material for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion. Supplied by Amorim Cork Composites, this raw material has a prominent place in one of the world's leading architectural exhibitions. 200m2 of cork were the answer to the South African architecture collective Counterspace, founded and lead by Sumayya Vally, to develop a sustainability-focused installation.

“cork was chosen because of its molding capacity, malleability and flexibility"

Sumayya Vally, a recent TIME100 Next List honoree, was the 20th entity invited to design the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. The youngest architect to be chosen to lead Serpentine's iconic architecture program says “cork was chosen because of its molding 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.

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is conceived as an event that, in this edition, will include a set of movable elements that will be installed in different London neighborhoods to promote and facilitate improvised meetings and interactions, in honor 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.

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 Amorim Cork Composites’ 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.

The new Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will be open until 17 of October.  


Image Credits:

Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Counterspace, Exterior View © Counterspace Photo: Iwan Baan


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