Dezeen Magazine

Cork-clad coffee bar in Beijing

Ten interiors with textured cork-covered walls

From an artist's studio in Devon to a coffee bar in a Beijing hutong, this lookbook rounds up ten interiors with tactile walls that are clad or built with cork.

Cork is a natural and renewable material sustainably harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree.

In architecture and interiors, it is commonly used in the form of cladding panels or building blocks. These are typically formed by heating cork granules, triggering the release of natural resins that bind them together.

Cork is an increasingly popular material for exterior and interior walls as it is biodegradable, durable and insulating, and when left exposed, it adds warmth and tactility to a space.

This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen's image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing multi-generational homes, residential corridors and homes filled with decorative ceramics.

Peter Randall-Page's cork-lined winter studio
Photo by Jim Stephenson

Art Barn, UK, by Thomas Randall-Page

Cork cladding gives a sense of cosiness to this freestanding "winter studio", which architect Thomas Randall-Page designed for his father and sculptor Peter Randall-Page.

Elevated on timber supports with stone feet, it forms the centrepiece of a wider open-plan workspace and archive created for the artist within an old barn in Devon.

Find out more about Art Barn ›

Cork House interior by Nimtim Architects
Photo by Megan Taylor

Cork House, UK, by Nimtim Architects

Nimtim Architects paired cork with bright pink window frames at this playful house extension in London.

Exposed inside and out, the material was chosen to create a continuous textured surface that offers "a subtle counterpoint to the original brickwork" of the existing dwelling.

Find out more about Cork House ›

Cork-lined coffee bar in Beijing
Photo by Eric Zhang and Yu Cheng

Big Small Coffee + B&B, China, by Office AIO

Cork panels are among several materials that decorate this small coffee bar, nestled in one of Beijing's hutong districts.

Office AIO used the wall coverings to add comfort and tactility to the interior while absorbing sound, preventing disturbance to an adjoining guesthouse.

Find out more about Big Small Coffee + B&B ›

Interior of modular Cork House in Berkshire
Photo courtesy of Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton

Cork House, UK, by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton

Lego-like blocks of cork were used to build this modular house in Berkshire.

Left exposed throughout the interior, they provide a snug and earthy aesthetic for the house and also ensure its structure is easily recyclable at the end of its life. The material was decorated with brass, oak, spruce and black-stained Accoya wood details.

Find out more about Cork House ›

Wooden wall shelving
Photo by José Hevia

The Day After House, Spain, by Takk

In this 110-square-metre Madrid apartment, several of the walls, ceilings and columns are covered in charred cork chosen for its heat-retaining and low-carbon properties.

The front door is also covered by the blackened panels, disguised as part of a storage wall with built-in pinewood shelving.

Find out more about Day after House ›

Interior of Olive + Squash by NeiheiserArgyros
Photo by Ioana Marinescu

Olive+Squash, UK, by Neiheiser Argyros

Neiheiser Argyros used the material in the dining space at the Olive+Squash cafe in London, which is concealed by a gridded metal structure dotted with potted plants.

The cork visually separates the eating area from the white-walled serving counter below, while creating an inviting atmosphere that encourages visitors to "gather and linger over their meal".

Find out more about Olive + Squash ›

Cork-lined cubicles in Zurich health clinic
Photo by Andrin Winteler

Heart clinic, Switzerland, by Dost

A 1960s restaurant was overhauled to create this heart treatment centre in Zurich, within which architecture studio Dost installed a series of cork-lined cubicles.

The earthy tones of the cork juxtapose the more clinical white finishes in the rest of the space, avoiding the sterile appearance of a typical healthcare environment.

Find out more about the heart clinic ›

Tiered seating in Biju Bubble Tea Rooms
Photo by Hufton & Crow

Biju Bubble Tea Rooms, UK, by Gundry & Ducker

Cork cladding extends down from the walls to form tiered seating and flooring at the Biju Bubble Tea Rooms in London, creating a playful internal landscape for visitors.

Architecture studio Gundry & Ducker selected the material for the fit-out as it is naturally occurring and echoes the cafe's use of fresh ingredients for its drinks.

Find out more about Biju Bubble Tea Rooms ›

Pegboard walls in Selencky Parson's office
Photo by Richard Chivers

Selencky Parsons office, UK, by Selencky Parsons

Timber pegs that support models and hanging plants slot into this cork-covered pod in Selencky Parsons' self-designed studio space in London.

The workspace was designed to give a cosy character to the irregularly-shaped commercial unit while also providing privacy for staff from passersby.

Find out more about the Selencky Parsons office ›

Restaurant with cork-clad feature wall
Photo by Fernando Guerra

Ecork Hotel, Portugal, by José Carlos Cruz

Architect José Carlos Cruz overlapped a series of different-sized cork slabs to create the feature wall of this restaurant in a hotel in Portugal's Alentejo region.

It matches the exterior of the building, which the architect designed "to promote cork as a cladding material" because it is insulating and recyclable.

Find out more about Ecork Hotel ›

This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen's image archive. For more inspiration see previous lookbooks showcasing multi-generational homes, residential corridors and homes filled with decorative ceramics.