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The summer with cork in the Square of the CCB

Lisbon 9/7/2019

1.900 blocks of expanded cork agglomerate were used to create Gardens of Stone, designed by the Atelier Barbas Lopes for the programme, A Square in the Summer of the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), in Lisbon.

For the third consecutive year, cork is the material chosen to transform the outdoor patio of the Centro Cultural de Belém in A Square in the Summer. The CCB’s Garagem Sul, in partnership with Corticeira Amorim, presents the intervention designed by Atelier Barbas Lopes entitled Gardens of Stone.

Gardens of Stone transforms the Centro Cultural de Belém’s square, giving it an uneasy topography, materialized in a floor project that reconfigures the way that we inhabit the building and enables the public to enter spaces that haven’t previously been open.
As part of this partnership, Amorim Isolamentos provided the 1,900 expanded cork agglomerate blocks used in this composition. The unique characteristics of this 100% natural and sustainable raw material are dynamically exploited in terms of texture, smell and density.

Through this work, the architect Patricia Barbas developed a creative connection between the building’s various spaces, taking advantage of cork’s comfort and warmth to build several gardens that establish a dialogue with the place. The cork modelled on the ground creates spaces where visitors can relax and enjoy the view over the Jardim das Oliveiras and the Tejo river, or simply relax and look up at the sky, creating a playful recreational space among the geometric constructions. The architectural work also includes an auditorium in which the film series, "My Parents" will be shown outdoors on hot summer nights.

Using a unique raw material and involving an exercise of composition and geometric rigour, Gardens of Stone combines several functions in one form, and several forms in one unit, offering many possibilities in a transformation programme. After all, architecture also exists to enjoy the pleasure of a warm shadow.

In the opinion of Carlos Manuel, CEO of Amorim Isolamentos, "Cork once again lies at the heart of the temporary work, A Square in the Summer, thereby reinforcing the importance of sustainability, associated with this valuable 100% natural raw material, used throughout the world as the best sustainable insulation solution in different construction projects.

About the atelier Barbas Lopes:

Created in 2006. Projects carried out or under development by the studio include public and private buildings, single-family homes, exhibition projects and interiors. It has worked with architects such as Peter Märkli, Promontório Arquitetos, Manuel Aires Mateus and Gonçalo Byrne. The studio’s work was highlighted for the Icon Awards 2012, Designs of the Year 2013 and Mies van der Rohe 2013. It took part in the Azrieli Visiting Critics in Residence at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

About A Square in the Summer at the CCB:

The city and its works are transformed by the heat of the different seasons. In the summer, the Centro Cultural de Belém’s Square usually hosts an ephemeral construction that represents this transitory dimension of places and things