Sustainable architecture – Two cork houses

(c) José Hevia

Emiliano López and Mònica Rivera made a name for themselves as architects 10 years ago for a project in the Navarra desert, and ever since work has been in no short supply. They have recently been awarded one of the Architecture Awards of Girona for houses that use cork, with an effective bid for sustainability and environmental integration.
The houses have been built on a plot close to Palafrugell where cork oaks stand side by side with pines and where the trees had once been exploited commercially for their cork. The constructions, which are both compact and vertical buildings, rise from the rugged terrain, and the surrounding Mediterranean understory has been preserved.

(c) José Hevia

The houses have been made from cross-laminated pine wood and are clad in two layers of cork, which provide effective thermal protection and allow the wood to breathe,  while also protecting it from rot.
Both houses were awarded class A energy  certification, thanks to their efficient energy consumption and low CO2 emissions. This is undoubtedly a fine example of how nature can be applied to architecture.


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