A systematic review LCA Architects he used cork, straw and wood to build a simple and sustainable house overlooking the woods of Magnago, in the upper Milan area.
Aptly called The House of Wood, Straw and Cork, the house of wood, straw and cork near Milan was commissioned by a young couple who wanted a sustainable home in closer contact with nature.
A house of wood, straw, cork
The design of LCA Architetti is deliberately essential, to keep the attention on the rural environment of the house while minimizing its environmental impact. The appearance and structure of the house made of wood, straw and cork are enhanced by the use of natural and recyclable building materials: the frame is made of prefabricated wood, the straw acts as insulation and the cork for covering. A renewable, resistant and insulating material, harvested from the bark of the cork oak.
"Customers wanted a house in direct contact with nature, a healthy and environmentally friendly building, where you can enjoy the little things ", explains the founder of the studio, Luca Buy. "The house of wood, straw and cork had to be born from the earth and have the colors of the earth, of the cultivated fields that surround it. The inspiration comes from the old barns still present in the area."
The plus: just the cork
The use of cork provides a thermally efficient "skin" for the home. In tandem with thatch insulation, it helps minimize the building's energy consumption. The studio purchased all the straw used to insulate the building from rice plants discarded by local farmers. Recently another studio, the German Rundzwei Architekten also used cork cladding to create another wooden house, the Cork Screw House in Berlin. The panels, in that case, were made with waste cork granules discarded by a bottling company. Studio Bark built a garden building almost entirely of cork in 2018 to show how an eco-friendly material can be used to form an entire building envelope.
A series of solar panels on the roof and even an air-source heat pump help further reduce the energy consumption of the wood, straw and cork house.
Inside the house of wood, straw and cork
Inside, the ground floor of the house is spacious. Features a kitchen, bedroom and study, plus two bathrooms, a laundry room, and a double-height living room. Above, a mezzanine floor houses a small gym, flanked by a second bedroom, a bathroom and another study.
The living room, in the center of the house, is fronted by a large window. It aims to frame the surrounding landscape, ensuring that nature has a "constant presence in the daily life of the house and of the people who live there".
The furnishings used throughout the house of wood, straw and cork are made from a variety of minimalist materials. Oak wood, ceramic, and stone help keep the focus on the exterior views. They include bespoke furniture seamlessly across the walls, marble trim on some walls, and recessed door frames.