this innovative, monolithic house is made almost entirely out of cork
 

this innovative, monolithic house is made almost entirely out of cork

this house in berkshire, designed by matthew barnett howland with dido milne and oliver wilton with monolithic walls and corbelled roofs, is built almost entirely from solid load-bearing cork. currently on the shortlist for the 2019 RIBA stirling prize, the project is an attempt to make solid walls and roofs from a single bio-renewable material.

this experimental, carbon-neutral house is made almost entirely out of corkimage © matthew barnett howland

 

 

matthew barnett howland, dido milne and oliver wilton developed the house as a radically simple form, providing an innovative self-build construction kit designed for disassembly, which is carbon-negative at completion, i.e. it has absorbed more carbon dioxide than has been emitted during the entire construction process. the house has exceptionally low whole life carbon – in a carbon comparison with generic reference projects compiled by sturgis carbon profiling, its whole life carbon is less than 15% of a new-build house, about one third of a timber frame passivhaus with no renewables, and less than half of that for a zero operational carbon building.

this experimental, carbon-neutral house is made almost entirely out of corkimage © matthew barnett howland

 

 

with a focus on simplicity and sustainability, the project provides an inventive solution to the complexities and conventions of modern house construction, built almost entirely from a single bio-renewable material instead of an array of materials, products and specialist sub-systems. designed, tested and developed in partnership with the bartlett school of architecture UCL, the house incorporates a dry-jointed construction system, so that all 1,268 blocks of cork can be reclaimed at end-of-building-life for re-use, recycling, or returning to the biosphere.

this experimental, carbon-neutral house is made almost entirely out of corkimage © matthew barnett howland

 

 

the house is conceived as a kit-of-parts, with prefabricated components off-site and assembled by hand on-site without mortar or glue. its structural form reimagines the simple construction principles of ancient stone structures such as celtic beehive houses, while the exposed solid cork creates a sensory environment where walls are gentle to the touch, smell good, and provide soft and calm acoustic conditions.this experimental, carbon-neutral house is made almost entirely out of corkimage © matthew barnett howland image © matthew barnett howlandimage © matthew barnett howland

image © matthew barnett howland image © matthew barnett howlandimage © matthew barnett howland image © matthew barnett howland

image © matthew barnett howland image © matthew barnett howland image © matthew barnett howland

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: cork house

architect: matthew barnett howland with dido milne and oliver wilton

location: berkshire, UK

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