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COORDINATION: CEF-ISA; Project Coordinator: Isabel Miranda

CEABN InBIO, ISA TEAMConceição ColaçoAna Catarina Sequeira, Iryna Skulska

CEF, ISA TEAMIsabel MirandaAna Lourenço

OTHER INSTITUTIONS: SerQ – Centro de Inovação e Competências da Floresta

The use of cork and cork products as the base material in the sheathing of facades is at the core of the proposed research. Since the pioneer work of Siza Vieira pavilion at the Hannover world exhibition 2000, other architects and designers used cork in outdoor applications.  The rationale behind the research objectives lies on the fact the cork and cork products are a promising resource for buildings in the XXI century due to their sustainability and versatility and can have a very important role to reduce the environmental impact of the constructing industry.

Despite the research efforts and the present use of cork in facades, there are no current studies focusing on the weathering and aging on these materials. Therefore, one goal is to understand how environmental factors (e.g., exposure to UV rain and water condensation, temperature fluctuations, insect ingress) change cork products characteristics.

The project work is divided into three lines:

  • Cork in Álvaro Siza architecture: conceptual and material perspectives, focuses on exploring the archives  donated by Álvaro Siza;
  • Investigating cork products under changing weather conditions and aging performance, to understand how environmental factors affect cork products characteristics;
  • Cork in the built environments, e.g., urban spaces, and space integration, focuses on understand public perception and on dissemination and promotion activities.

The dissemination of results will be done to scientific community as internationally refereed papers and presentations in congress. Focus groups will be envisaged with different prescribers and at the end of the project, a creative workshop will be organized to stimulate people awareness to the importance of the work done by Álvaro Siza targeting public perception and space integration. A user guide regarding the use of cork in construction will be published.