by Ludovica Cirillo, AA 5th Year
Diploma Unit 15


10 May 2017
Architectural Association, London


Nomadic Bookstore Technical Study : Flooring/Piezo-Cork Tile


The Nomadic Bookstore for Lars Müller Publishers, designed by the students of the AA Museum Lab, Diploma Unit 15, is intended as a manifesto for the relevance of books in the context of the expansion of the digital realm. Conceived as an itinerant urban structure, the hovering LED-lit roof of the pavilion projects ever-changing provocative titles of Lars Müller’s books into the city, and shelters the publications within a soft interior-scape. Inside the pavilion, the predominant use of fine cork, with diamond-pointed ashlar ceiling details, allows for a uniform exhibition book display and provides an acoustically subdued environment within the hustle of the urban Milanese context.


My technical study is strongly related to the design development process of the pavilion. I was interested in exploring the properties of cork and the possibility of new composite materials – the ‘Piezo-Cork Tiles’. Developed with two 1:1 prototypes: an off-the-shelf flooring as the Nomadic Tile, and the bespoke Granulated Composite tile, the material experimentation integrates piezoelectricity and cork finishes for the production of a nomadic and sustainable energy harvesting flooring.


Receiving a High Pass Commendation is for me not only an honour but also a recognition of the efforts of the unit, TS tutors and external collaborators who all came together to contribute to the realisation of the Nomadic Bookstore and of the Piezo-Cork Tile.


With thanks to:
Technical Studies 5 Tutors
AA Wood and Metal Workshop Technicians
Paulo Rocha, Granorte Product Manager
Marco Carini, Granorte Artistic Director


For more information:
Nomadic Bookstore Pavilion video produced by Linus Cheng, Diploma 15
Diploma 15 unit brief
Diploma Unit 15 microsite

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Homepage and lower image: Copyright Gabriele Zanon, Domus