As endless as the imagination


No technology can emulate the unique properties of cork. Indeed, with the help of recent advances in Research and Development (R&D) it is possible to take unprecedented advantage of the high technical performance of this 100% natural raw material. Stoppers, wall and floor coverings are some of the cork industry’s most representative products, and the capabilities of cork are now broadly explored by designers, architects and engineers from some of the most varied sectors throughout the world.

"It is a natural material, with strong added value in terms of touch and smell, and great versatility, which allows it to be easily carved, cut, shaped and formed."

Herzog & de Meuron, architects of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

Cork has attracted major attention. We can consider the example of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, a project by architects Herzog & de Meuron and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei that surprised London through its creativity, originality and due to the fact that they used a raw material “so interesting and mysterious that few people really know what it is”, says Jacques Herzog. One only has to look at the breath-taking impact of the Portuguese Pavilion in the Expo Shanghai, a structure built entirely of cork, that enchanted thousands of visitors. Or the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona - this yet unfinished work in Barcelona has cork flooring. It’s also important to remember projects at the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A, England), the Leonardo da Vinci Museum (Italy), the Nezu Museum (Japan), the Musée Contemporain de Bordeaux (France), the Vitra Design Museum (Germany), Tate Modern (England), the Istanbul Design Biennial (Turkey), the Natural History Museum in Tel Aviv (Israel), the Venice Art Biennale (Italy) and the Lisbon Cruise Terminal (Portugal).

Indeed, the ability to combine cork with other materials makes it a unique solution. As a result it is assuming increasing importance, not only in architecture and construction, but also in areas such as design. The current challenge of bringing cork to the forefront of modern living has included leading world designers such as Jasper Morrison, Inga Sempé, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. This preference has extended to prestigious contemporary designer brands such as Vitra, or Established & Sons. In the world of fashion, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, Stella McCartney, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci are proud to use cork in their jewellery, clothing and footwear collections.

"Cork is a material which is certainly worthy of attention in design. Its appeal lies in the combination of its old-world appeal and new-world technical capabilities."

Jasper Morrison

Hand-in-hand with the latest technology

Coupled with cutting-edge technology, cork increases product performance, comfort and prestige.

Whether in automobiles, high-speed trains, large-scale ships and state-of the art planes to components for the interior of buses. Cork also plays an important role in building bridges and highways, in railways, dams and airports, and energy generation. It also plays a vital role in controlling pollution, either as part of products to absorb oil, hydrocarbons or organic solvents, or projected in compressed air granules to renovate buildings, monuments and the façades of buildings.

In the field of sports, cork maximises the performance of hockey balls, golf balls and baseballs, shuttlecocks, table-tennis rackets, dartboards, Olympic kayaks and surfboards. Thanks to research, new and surprising uses are being discovered every day: cork fabric, cork paper and cork wire are already a reality. Today there are also soccer stadiums that incorporate cork substrates. One solution delivers a 40% reduction in the possibility of injury to soccer players. The expanded cork granulate used beneath the turf gives it greater shock absorption, minimising the contact between the player and the pitch.

This is the dawn of a new era of discovery, of an even more glorious horizon for cork and its possibilities, as boundless as Space itself.

In health, it is used in vaccine adjuvants and will soon be used in powder form in cosmetics, thanks to its hypoallergenic characteristics. It is being tested in bullet-proof equipment due to its shock resistance ability. In cinema, as a result of its lightness, fine cork grains are used in special effects for explosions.

But cork is not only making its mark in Planet Earth. For decades NASA and the ESA - European Space Agency have chosen cork as a preferred partner, incorporating it into heat shields and plates for their spacecraft, thus conferring to cork a vital role in the launch and successful operation of these vehicles. In fact, cork is the only organic material used in a rocket capsule because only cork can leave the atmosphere and return, while preserving its characteristics intact.

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