On December 10, 2010, APCOR, the Portuguese Cork Association, hosted the inaugural APCOR Japan Natural Cork Awards at the official residence of the Ambassador of Portugal in Tokyo.
On behalf of APCOR, His Excellency the Ambassador of Portugal to Japan João Pedro Zanatti presented the awards, which recognize people and entities that have contributed to the promotion, development and growth of cork as a building and decorative material in Japan.
Four awards were presented in two categories. In the category of outstanding interior design in cork, the winners were the Nezu Museum and the designer of its 2009 renovation, Kuma Kengo and Associates. The Nezu Museum was renovated over a three-year period from 2006 to 2009. The renovated building features around 1,600 square meters of cork flooring in a design that highlights how beautiful and stylish cork flooring can be. Cork flooring is an ideal choice for a museum because of its strong sound insulation and superior comfort underfoot.
In the category of innovative use of cork’s natural qualities, awards were presented to the Oriental Hotel tokyo bay for its 48 “Kiddy Sweet” suite rooms for young children, which feature cork flooring as a safe, comfortable, healthy choice for children, and the designer of the rooms, Gensler and Associates.
Paulo Trancoso, APCOR Campaign Representative in Japan, said: “2010 marks 150 years since Japan and Portugal signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Commerce in 1860, so it’s a fitting year to host our inaugural natural cork awards. APCOR is delighted to recognize such distinguished award recipients in the first year of the awards, and thanks them for playing their part in highlighting the great natural qualities, outstanding design versatility and unparalleled environmental credentials of cork flooring in Japan.”
Cork’s unique cellular structure consisting of millions of tiny air bubbles makes it soft, comfortable, warm, durable, resistant to mould and insects, and a great insulator against heat/cold, sound and vibration. Cork is also a 100% natural, sustainable and recyclable material derived from the bark of the Cork Oak Tree, which can be harvested countless times during the tree’s lifetime without damaging the tree. And recent developments in processing technologies mean cork flooring is available in an infinite number of colors and patterns, making it as stylish as it is comfortable, durable and environmentally friendly.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
APCOR: APCOR’s mission is to represent and promote the Portuguese Cork Industry, with around 250 members, representing around 80 percent of the total national cork production and 85 percent of all cork exports. APCOR is also responsible for promotional activities, with added value to cork, on both a national and international scale, providing, in addition, an extensive Information Resource Centre on cork. For further details, please see: http://naturalcork.jp
2010 – 150 years of Japan-Portugal Relations: 2010 marks 150 years since the Emperor of Japan and King Pedro V of Portugal signed the Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Commerce in 1860, formalizing diplomatic relations between Japan and Portugal. In fact, bilateral relations significantly predate the signing of this treaty, as the first Portuguese arrived in Japan as far back as 1543.
His Excellency the Ambassador of Portugal in Japan João Pedro Zanatti (left) presents award to Nezu Museum Director Koichi Nezu (center) at awards ceremony. Also in picture: APCOR Campaign Representative in Japan Paulo Trancoso (right)