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Brief Published: 26 Jan 2016

Material Highlight: Cork & Concrete Composite

Design Studio Niruk

A new composite by German group Design Studio Niruk combines fragments of recycled cork with concrete for a lightweight yet durable material. This unusual combination results in a fresh visual and tactile language – as warm and cold, organic and manmade collide.

The material is reinforced with bamboo fibres for added strength. While showcased at Imm Cologne on a series of tables, the studio intends its applications to stretch to interiors and architecture – particularly as the composite absorbs more sound than conventional concrete.

Through different treatments, a range of finishes are possible – including enabling the cork to protrude from the concrete for a softer, more tactile feel, or highly polishing the material for a smooth, Terrazzo-style aesthetic.

For more innovative composites, see our New Noble and Resource Materials Focus reports. For more individual uses of these materials, see Cork: New Possibilities and Recasting Concrete.