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Corticeira Amorim provides 200m2 of cork for the construction of the Serpentine Summer Pavilion 2020/21

London 24/2/2020

Eight years after the project for the pavilion designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Wei Wei, cork has once again been chosen for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion. The work has been designed by the South African studio, Counterspace.

Three architects aged under 30 - Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers and Amina Kaskar – designed the project selected for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion 2020/21. In the year of the famous London gallery’s 50th anniversary, and in which the Summer Pavilion is celebrating its 20th edition, the programme will be curated for a 2-year period, for the first time ever. This is an opportunity to leverage a set of research projects that will certainly create significant connections between the structure, people and communities.

Counterspace’s trio of women designers from Johannesburg, is the youngest team ever chosen to design the temporary installation. Cork has once again been chosen for one of the world’s most important design and architecture events. The first time this occurred was in 2012, in a landmark project designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and the Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei: a circular structure integrating more than 100 pieces of Portuguese agglomerated cork furniture. 

For the project designed by Counterspace, Corticeira Amorim will provide 200m2 of cork, which due to its unique sustainability credentials – as a 100% natural, renewable, recyclable and reusable material – is able to respond particularly well to the designers’ goal to create a markedly ecological installation. Focused on sustainability, combining traditional construction techniques and innovative approaches,Counterspace’s proposal focuses on the experiences of London’s peripheral and migrant communities. Overcoming the fixed nature of the architecture, the pavilion has been conceived as an event in its own right. It includes mobile elements that will be displaced to several neighbourhoods in the city before returning to the base structure.

In addition to cork, other sustainable materials will also be used to build the pavilion, such as bricks recycled from waste from the construction industry and urban demolitions.

In a year marked by unprecedented global challenges, the proposal for the Serpentine Summer Pavilion 2020/21 appears to be an invitation to reflect upon and discuss new ideas about architecture, the environment, well-being and the community.