The technological giant chose cork from Corticeira Amorim for its new commercial space, based on factors such as its beauty, character and sustainability. The store thereby combines nature, innovation, history, industry and culture.
One of Google's core goals was to attain LEED Platinum status, the highest possible certification within the “Leadership in Energy and Sustainable Design” green-building rating system. Cork was the natural option, as one of the planet’s most sustainable materials, offering unique characteristics in terms of CO2 retention and inexhaustible potential for circular practices. Cork is also light, versatile, resilient, soft to the touch and is visually appealing.
In addition to these valuable attributes, Daniel Michalik says that cork offered “a blank sheet, on which customers can project their ideas, concepts and experiences of the material, interacting in a single space.” Michalik, who is also a professor at the Parsons School of Design, explains that in addition to its sustainability credentials, cork is a healthy raw material: from the perspective of the natural health system, fair wages for work and the health of those who use cork-based objects”.
The items of furniture created exclusively for the Google Store in New York include sofas, armchairs, bookshelves, chairs, counters, bar stools and coffee tables. The collection also includes objects for a children's space, such as beds, desks and nightstands. These large-scale functional solutions combine Portuguese cork with American white oak.
The raw material for this project in the “Big Apple” was supplied by Amorim Cork Composites (ACC), Corticeira Amorim’s business unit that develops products, solutions and applications for some of the world’s most sophisticated activities - such as the aerospace, automotive, construction, sports, energy or design industries. Amorim Cork Composites and Daniel Michalik have worked together since the beginning of the 21st century. According to the New York designer their relationship is cemented “by ACC's commitment to innovation, vision of the future potential of cork-based applications in the fields of design, construction and architecture, and its profound respect for the cork sector’s culture, history and inherent wisdom, as well as its role as a world leader, and key supporter of sustainability and human concerns in the industry”.
ACC Design Studio, the meeting point between cork and creativity
Collaboration with leading designers is one of the principal goals of the ACC Design Studio - an infrastructure that serves as a meeting point for cork and creativity. The studio aims to develop new concepts, provide monitoring and technical support for projects and foster training and knowledge sharing. The studio’s multidisciplinary, specialised and professional teams study processes, investigate formulae and explore technologies, to maximise the multiple attributes of cork.
The NYCxDESIGN Awards pay tribute to the products, projects and ideas of New York City's designers, architects, artisans, producers and manufacturers. The 7th edition of the NYCxDESIGN Awards involved over 500 professionals.