Cork Shell Pavilion

  • Project CEAAD Advanced Studies Program in Digital Architecture (FAUP + ISCTE-IUL)
  • Coordinators José Pedro Sousa (FAUP/DFL) + Alexandra Paio (ISCTE-IUL/VFABLAB)
  • Design Team Filipe Brandão + João Sousa (CEAAD 2014/15 students)
  • Associated Research Groups DFL - Digital Fabrication Lab + Vitruvius FabLab ISCTE-IUL
  • Commission and Production Amorim Isolamentos SA
  • Place Concreta 2015, Exponor, Porto
  • Date 19-22/11/2015

Amorim Isolamentos, SA Pavilion at Concreta 2015, a fair of materials and construction in Oporto, Portugal, was developed with the purpose of presenting to the public the most recent applications of insulation cork board, material of choice of the brand. It was designed by João Sousa and Filipe Brandão, ex-students of the Advanced Studies Course in Digital Architecture (CEAAD), a partnership between ISCTE-IUL (Lisbon) and FAUP (Oporto), under the coordination of the professors José Pedro Sousa and Alexandra Paio.

The original idea came out of the desire to carry the visitors to the origin of the insulation cork board – the cork oak tree – that cannot be separated from its ecosystem – the montado. There was an initial approach concentrated on the montado, but we then focused on the tree and the extractive process of the cork, following the suggestion of Amorim Isolamentos. A set of images of cork stripping and the bark shells the extraction process generates immediately came to mind.

The project concept originated from the mingling of images of the extractive process of cork bark from the oak tree. It’s sought to condense in a gesture the peeling of the bark from a cork oak’s trunk. The spiral seemed the most appropriate way to transport the visitor from the noisy fair environment to a space of silence and intimate contact with the material and its origin, while a second elliptical shell closes the pavilion space.

The interior staggered surfaces are meant to support real scale samples of the diverse constructive solutions with the brand’s products. This concept materialization allows exploring a lighting solution that emphasizes the cork surface’s texture, one of the most distinctive features of the material.

Two of the constructive solutions presented resulted from the authors’ research projects at CEAAD course. Cork ReWall (Filipe Brandão) is a parametric partition wall constructive system composed of OSB structure and a customizable composite panel of insulation cork board and plywood. CorkBuild (João Sousa) is an exterior parametric constructive solution for roofs and façades that includes two layers of insulation cork board with waterproofing and customizable texture.



Concept Sketches

Concept Sketches

Plan sketch

Plan sketch

On-site assembly of the stand at Concreta 2015

On-site assembly of the stand at Concreta 2015

On-site assembly of the stand at Concreta 2015

On-site assembly of the stand at Concreta 2015

On-site assembly of the stand at Concreta 2015

On-site assembly of the stand at Concreta 2015

Natural cork planks for exterior paneling.

Natural cork planks for exterior paneling.

General Plan: Exhibition modules drawing

General Plan: Exhibition modules drawing

Elevation A

Elevation A

Elevation B and D

Elevation B and D

Elevation C

Elevation C

Floor exploded axonometric diagram

Floor exploded axonometric diagram

Floor exploded axonometric diagram

Floor exploded axonometric diagram

Axometric Details

Axometric Details

Floor Plan - panel reference dimentions

Floor Plan – panel reference dimentions



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