With its insulating properties and ability to be produced sustainably, cork can be a superb building material, as evidenced by projects like the Ecocubo. The Float by Rotterdam’s Studio RAP is another excellent example of the benefits of cork and offers a cosy and comfortable light-filled home on the water.
The aptly named Float is located in Leiden, the Netherlands, and consists of a floating base, with a Cross-Laminated-Timber (CLT) structure and solid cork used to cover the timber on the outside. The home was inspired by origami and its exterior is enlivened by computer-designed folds in the walls and roof that resulted in a reduction of over 2,000 kg (roughly 4,400 lb) of timber. It’s topped by an insulating green roof – indeed, the insulation should be excellent throughout, though we’ve no hard figures on R-value available as of writing.
“The timber structure is solely clad in cork, a low density cork insulation layer and a high density cork outer layer bonded by a cork mortar layer, creating walls that breathe with a healthy and comfortable interior climate as a result,” explained Studio RAP. “The expanded cork used in this project is a pure plant-based material with a unique ecological origin giving the building an exceptionally low carbon footprint. Cork is also a great material to manufacture digitally, all cork modules were CNC-cut creating neat seams between them and bespoke window details.”
The designers haven’t given too much away on the interior, but the home is arranged on one floor, and centered around a living room that includes seating, a bookcase, and a wood-burning stove for warmth. Over to one side of this room is the kitchen and dining area, while the sole bedroom is situated over on the other side. A separate toilet and bathroom are situated in a hallway that connects the living room and bedroom.
Studio RAP sensibly left the unfinished CLT on show instead of covering it up and the result is a very attractive and natural-looking interior decor. Generous glazing lines the walls and ensures lots of light inside, plus in hotter summer months the glazing can be slid open so the owners can sit on the small surrounding deck outside.
Source: Studio RAP