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Architects@Wicanders brought together 50 international architects

Portugal 14/9/2017

Initiative aimed to expand knowledge about the potential of flooring that incorporates cork

Architects@Wicanders is organized by Amorim Revestimentos and curated by the architect Nuno Grande. The first edition (September 11-12) brought together 50 architects, from 16 nationalities, who visited the company headquarters and the city of Porto.
Based on a broad programme, the event included three main panels: "Journey to Wicanders" [presentation of Amorim Revestimentos’ premium brand of flooring solutions, including Wicanders’ portfolio, reference works and the key differentiating factors of its solutions], "Journey through Cork "[Importance of cork in improving the technical performance of flooring, complemented by its robust sustainability credentials] and "Journey to the Contemporary Architecture of Porto".
According to António Rios de Amorim, Chairman of Corticeira Amorim, "Architects@Wicanders has fulfilled the three main goals initially envisaged, i.e. disseminate cork to opinion leaders in 16 countries, in particular those linked to the flooring market; motivate a networking forum, and foster exchange of experiences and visions about the different possibilities of using cork. Given the breadth of the initiative, we succeeded in further enhancing the credibility of cork from Porto and Portugal. "
"The architects showed interest in furthering the knowledge about this raw material and were surprised by the quality of the products, in particular the new Hydrocork flooring solution", explained António Rios de Amorim, in reference to the world's first waterproof cork flooring, whose characteristics make it ideal for renovation projects.
The architect Nuno Grande, who led the panel "Journey to the Contemporary Architecture of Porto", considered that "it’s extremely interesting that a business initiative has become a cultural event.
"Cork has strong ties to Portugal and the tradition of Portuguese industry, which has meant that this event has gone beyond a mere presentation of products and has instead established a genuine connection with different geographies and cultures in the world". According to the architect, "this component has been obtained thanks to the excellent combination of lectures and visits to the different architectural works that complemented the programme".
Porto is the only city in the world with two architects who have won Pritzker prizes. The organization therefore promoted a programme of technical visits, coordinated by the architect Nuno Grande and his team, to various key architectural works, such as the Casa das Artes - the first public work by Eduardo Souto Moura, and the Burgo Tower, one of the architect’s most recent works. The initiative also included two notable works by Álvaro Siza Vieira: the Piscina das Marés tidal swimming pools, in Leça da Palmeira, notable due to its integration into the landscape, and the Boa Nova Tea House.
The programme also included visits to two notable architectural works in Porto: the Casa da Música, by the architect Rem Koolhaas, and Serralves Museum, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira.