Cork used in a contemporary architectural design pervaded by the soul of Alentejo
“Villa Extramuros” is a refuge in Arraiolos, a town in the heart of the Alentejo. The building makes use of remarkably few materials and is characterized by its formal simplicity where natural cork, together with other characteristic architectural elements typical of the Alentejo - such as marble and white walls - plays an important role.
The design concept of this singular space is based on an intimate farmhouse boasting clean contemporary lines accented with Alentejo inspired elements: a "castro", a pre-Roman fortified settlement, the historical monastic architecture and the traits that are characteristic of villages and the traditional farmhouses in Southern Portugal.
According to Jordi Fornells, the architect responsible for designing “Villa Extramuros”, the use of insulation corkboard MD facade manufactured by Amorim Isolamentos "represents the advent of a whole new level of products designed for covering facades. Because cork is a natural product, it fits perfectly with the current sustainability standards while its roots are deeply embedded in the Mediterranean cultural and constructive tradition."
Cork was chosen because it fitted perfectly into the building concept of the house and was used both indoors and outdoors in a total of 250m2. Jordi Fornells justifies the choice of this raw material due to its excellent technical performance: "Cork is a great thermal insulator and, in addition, it is also amazingly tactile: its velvety touch and intense scent add significant value to indoor environmental quality that is boosted even further by cork’s remarkable sound absorption qualities. It is an excellent product that combines cork’s highly industrialized processes with a nice and modern finish. Its durability outdoors and nobility of aging underpin the uniqueness of this material."