Stephen Lawrence Prize pops a cork for sustainability
Following its announcement of the 2019 Stirling Prize winner, RIBA has also declared the winner of this year's Stephen Lawrence Prize. Cork House, by Matthew Barnett Howland, with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton, got the nod for its innovative use of cork to offer an attractive and sustainable home.
Created in honor of a black British teenager who was studying to become an architect before he was killed in a racist attack, the Stephen Lawrence Prize aims to encourage new and experimental architecture projects built to a relatively low budget (by architecture award standards, at least) of under £1 million (roughly US$1.2 million).
Cork House, which also involved The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL and Arup, is made almost entirely from cork by-product from the forestry and bottle stopper industries. Every building component used in its construction can be reused or recycled and the home can be dismantled and moved if required.
In total, the home consists of 1,268 blocks of cork that were assembled from a prefabricated kit without the use of any mortar or glue. It has an unusual contemporary appearance that nonetheless takes its place very well in the grounds of an 18th Century mill in Eton, England.
Its interior measures 44 sq m (473 sq ft) and makes excellent use of exposed cork and oak flooring to offer a warm and snug space. A wood-burning stove is installed for warmth and generous glazing, including several skylights, ensure ample daylight within.
"Cork House is a unique fusion of ancient construction methods and cutting-edge technical research to produce a highly innovative, low carbon solution with a wide variety of applications from mass housing to emergency shelters," says Stephen Lawrence Prize founder Marco Goldschmied. "We are delighted to present Matthew Barnett Howland, Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton with the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2019."
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