Where form meets function
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When you hear the word “cork” in Portugal you’re probably already picturing a nice glass of wine, but the Ecork hotel in the Évora region of the country has come up with an entirely different use for the material. By cladding the walls of its 56 private residences in the stuff it manages to keep each building both thermally and sonically insulated, reducing its need for power-hungry air conditioning. Furthermore, at night the complex is heated geothermally and all hot water is generated using solar panels, further reducing the hotel’s overall carbon footprint, while the physical footprint is lessened by placing the pool and its adjacent bar on the roof of the main building. Clever thinking.

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