Cork Facts

by Mar 12, 2019

What is the World’s Largest Temporary Cork Installation?

An area of 2,000 m2 – the entire exterior area of the Portugal Pavilion – was completely covered with cork, in the largest-ever temporary cork installation, in a project coordinated by the architect Manuel Aires Mateus for the 3rd edition of the Archi Summit , the only trade event for architects, engineers and designers in Portugal.

Did you Know That Cork is Used as a Source of Renewable Energy?

More than 60% of Corticeira Amorim’s energy needs are met from biomass, a CO2 neutral energy source.

Cork in the Guinness Book of Records

In 2008 the Albanian artist Saimir Strati entered the famous Guinness Book of Records for making the largest cork stopper mosaic in the world. The work depicts Romeo playing the guitar and is 7.1 m tall and 12.9 m wide. 229 675 cork stoppers in different shapes and colours and glued together were used. The mosaic was shown at the Sheraton Tirana Hotel, in Albania’s capital.

Prior to that, in 2006, the Frenchman Gerald Malou had entered the Guinness Book of Records with the largest cork sculpture. The work, 2.35 m in height, was shown in Gaillac, a city in southwest France, renowned for its wine.

The largest collection of cork stoppers in the world can be found in Spain. It belongs to Antonio Fontela Blanco and Rosa Maria Valdes Diaz, who began collecting corks in 1995. They entered the Guinness Book of Records in 2002 with 744 different cork stoppers, from 284 brands of cider from the Asturias. The oldest cork stopper was 60 years old at the time.

Did You Know that Cork is Used in Special Effects in Cinema?

Thanks to its lightness, cork granules are used in special effects scenes to simulate explosions. This technique was used in films such as Total Recall, with the actor Colin Farrell, and Gangster Squad, with Sean Penn, Mission Impossible, with Tom Cruise, and, more recently, Tomb Raider. In turn, expanded regranulated cork was used in Ghostbusters to simulate debris falling from buildings, in Volcano and in Dante’s Peak to recreate volcanic rocks. As a general rule, in films when bullets are shown hitting something, the particles projected after impact are made of cork.

Is Cork Good for your Health?

Yes. Research carried out by University of Porto reveal that cork has antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The University of Bordeaux II also discovered that cork stoppers pass those health-giving properties to the wine. Furthermore, when it is applied to flooring and footwear, cork contributes to improve posture and reduce physical effort.

What are the Other Applications of Cork?

As a result of technological advances and strong investment in R&D+I, the applications of cork are increasingly surprising, from its use in construction and architecture, in design, in the manufacture of clothing, jewellery and footwear, in furniture, decoration, health and cosmetics, in energy production, pollution control, among many other original applications, and those still undiscovered

Cork is the option of architects awarded the Pritzker Prize

Cork is the option of some of the most renowned contemporary architects in the world. E.g. from among those awarded with the Pritzker Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of Architecture, various architects have already chosen cork for their projects. Such is the case of Eduardo Souto Moura and Siza Vieira (for example in the joint project for the Portuguese Pavilion at Expo Hanover 2000) and the Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron team (Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012).

The Cork Oak Forest (montado) is a Candidate to Become a World Heritage Site

The Alentejo region, the largest cork forest area in Portugal, shall propose UNESCO to classify the cork oak forest as a World Heritage Site. The reasons underpinning the application are those related to tourist interest, to the fact that the montado is a unique ecosystem in the world and that it may be advertised as a destination with an identity.