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AMORIM Cork featured at London’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

London 8/5/2012

Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei choose Corticeira Amorim as a partner in an architectural design for the British capital.

Cork has been selected as the distinctive design element to be featured in the next Serpentine Gallery Pavilion's annual series in London. The 12th commission in the Gallery's series will be led by the renowned architectural design firm Herzog & de Meuron and the leading artist Ai Weiwei.

After the iconic Beijing National Stadium, built for the 2008 Olympic Games, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron and Ai Weiwei come together again to design what will be their first joint project in the UK.

Cork, supplied by Corticeira Amorim, is the structural element of this iconic project. According to the architects, the extensive use of natural cork is justified for its unique qualities. Herzog & de Meuron said: "Cork is a natural material with wonderful haptic and olfactory qualities with the versatility to be carved, cut, shaped and formed."

Antonio Rios de Amorim, Chairman and CEO of Corticeira Amorim said: "This partnership embodies Amorim's incessant drive to make the unbeatable technical and sustainability credentials of natural cork known worldwide. Seeing cork so beautifully and prominently featured, not only makes us very proud, it also provides a great opportunity for consumers and professionals to understand better that cork is truly nature's own high-tech, 21st Century material."

Taking an archaeological approach, Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei have designed a pavilion that will inspire visitors to look beneath the surface, to its structure. The concept of this project is based on an invitation to go back in time and explore the remains of the eleven previous Serpentine Gallery Pavilions. These eleven columns testify to the existence of the former Pavilions and a 12th column representing the current structure will support a floating platform roof 1.5 metres above ground.

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is an annual landmark of the architectural world, an initiative that entails the design of an iconic structure every year and attracts an average of 250,000 visitors per year. Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer, Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid and Portuguese architects Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto Moura were some of the internationally renowned architects responsible for past events.