Natural Cork by Gencork
Discover Gencork, a brand by Sofalca, and their cork solutions that explore the perfect symbiosis between low-tech material and high-tech processes
Tell us about Sofalca. What was the starting point of this family business and how did it evolve throughout time?
What are the unique characteristics of expanded cork and how is this made?
Being 100% natural! We pick up the cork from the forest, break it into tiny granules and clean it so that biomass could be produced. Then, cork is used in the production of water steam with temperature reaching 400ºC. This process will make the cork granules expand in the autoclaves. The hot steam will bring out the natural resin of the cork which, alongside with some compression, will agglomerate everything together transforming it into a block, 100% natural and chocolate colour.
This is, indeed, a 100% natural material, with no additives, no glue or ink. And for this reason, it lives forever. So, as a 100% natural product, it is the best insulation material with unique thermal, acoustic and breathable characteristics, that can be used outdoors and indoors.
With Gencork you created innovative series of wall coverings by combining natural material and digital fabrication methods. Please tell us more about the creative process behind your creations.
The initial idea was to add value to an insulation material, and at the same time to offer a solution to architects, designers, contractors and to the public, the final consumer himself - insulation with design. Not the simple and plain slabs that are commonly seen, but a much more appealing acoustic solution. We looked for, and we found the best creative person – architect Brimet Silva. Together, we developed new ideas, tested the limits of cork and created Gencork. Sofalca needed to improve a Special Design material (SD) to be able to materialize the ideas and to make dreams come true.