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PORTUGAL'S PAVILION HOSTS THE WORLD’S BIGGEST EVER TEMPORARY CORK INSTALLATION

July 6, 2017

A mega cork installation, in a project coordinated by the renowned architect Manuel Aires Mateus, will be held within the scope of the 3rd Archi Summit and will be on display for only two days - July 6 and 7 - in the Pavilion of Portugal’s famous concrete “canopy”.

The Archi Summit 2017 will be more than Portugal’s only architect summit - involving architects, engineers and designers. It will also host the world’s biggest ever temporary cork exhibition, in a project involving around 5,000 blocks of expanded cork agglomerate, a 100% natural material provided by Amorim Isolamentos, in a clear manifestation of the need to preserve the environment and the cork oak tree itself – Portugal’s National Tree.

 In order to implement the project, the studio of Manuel Aires Mateus – the author of the project - and SAMI of Setúbal, co-authors of the work, defined an ambitious objective: to use cork to cover a 2,000 m2 area, corresponding to the entire exterior area of ​​the Pavilion of Portugal. This area corresponds to the famous concrete "canopy" of the Pavilion of Portugal, a work designed by the award-winning architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira, for Expo 98.

 In total, the cork installation exceeds 760 m3, making it the largest ever made in the world. Cork was chosen for this large-scale project because of its quintessential “Portugality”, making it the perfect fit for this event, given that it is a 100% Portuguese event (although it welcomes visitors from several nationalities) and takes place in a building designed by one of Portugal’s greatest architects.

 In addition to cork, other materials will be used to represent Portuguese history and culture, such as ceramic tiles supplied by Margres (the event’s main sponsor) and by Love Tiles, both leading brands in the manufacture of porcelain stoneware in Portugal. This exhibition is nestled within "the heart" of the cork installation, which, according to Bruno Moreira, in charge of organization of the Archi Summit, "makes it even more interesting, multifaceted and appealing".

 The Portuguese company, Amorim Isolamentos, was the ideal choice for supplying the raw material, cork. A subsidiary of Corticeira Amorim - the world’s leading operator in the cork sector - Amorim Isolamentos is also a sponsor of the event and is now preparing a mega-logistical operation to deliver the material, which implies mobilization of infrastructures, staff and dozens of trucks over several days.

 The dynamic behind this initiative began with organisation of Archi Summit 2017 – Portugal’s only architecture summit - and will be carried out in this context. The Archi Summit is now in its 3rd edition and will take place in the Pavilion of Portugal, on July 6 and 7, marking the return of the architect Álvaro Siza Vieira to the conference circuit, and the presence of several of the world’s leading architects, such as Valério Olgiati.