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Corticeira Amorim provides 200m2 of cork for the construction of the Serpentine Summer Pavilion 2020

London 24/2/2020

South African architecture studio, Counterspace, designed the pavilion that will focus on ecology and sustainability, marking the exhibition’s 20th anniversary

Cork is one of the main materials to be used in the Serpentine Summer Pavilion 2020 - one of the world’s most important design and architecture exhibitions. Held annually in Kensington Gardens, in London, the pavilion will use around 200m2 of cork, supplied by Corticeira Amorim. It will be used in conjunction with other environmentally-friendly materials in a project designed by the trio of South African architects, Counterspace. This is the second time that Corticeira Amorim will be associated with the Serpentine Summer Pavilion, after an initial cooperation in 2012.

This year the Serpentine Summer Pavilion is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and sustainability and ecology are its central themes. This is reflected in the chosen project, designed by Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar. Selection of the materials for the pavilion's infrastructure reflected a strong environmental component, which led to cork being chosen as one of the main raw materials. The fact that cork is a 100% natural, ecological, renewable, recyclable and reusable product placed it at an advantage compared to many other solutions.

The three architects, all aged 29-years-old, intend to use other sustainable materials, such as recycled brick blocks, made from waste from the construction industry. They are the youngest team ever to design the Serpentine Summer Pavilion. Their concept is inspired by London’s main communal spaces, with special focus on the experience of migrants and peripheral and suburban communities. Such places of remembrance, memory and affection will be combined in a unique manner in the summer pavilion, that is formed by different rooms. Within this environment, cork will be visible to the visitors, who will be invited to experience the different areas through structural breaks, changes in gradient and contrasts in colour, texture and density. The Serpentine Summer Pavilion will be inaugurated on June 11, 2020, and will close four months later, on October 11.

The partnership with Serpentine Gallery - the famous London gallery responsible for the initiative - is repeated in a very special year for Corticeira Amorim, since it is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The first co-operation, in 2012, was for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion designed by the Swiss architects, Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. On this occasion, cork was also a transversal element of the installation: the artists used 80m3 of agglomerated cork to create a complex circular structure and over 100 items of furniture.