Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Google has opened its first physical retail store in New York, which is decorated with furniture made from Portuguese cork.

Google opened its physical retail store in New York on Thursday and chose Portuguese cork for decoration. Sofas, benches and paintings made from one of the best-known Portuguese materials mark the first space of the American company, which has favoured the use of sustainable materials.


The Portuguese material is present in the store’s furniture in the “Big Apple”, which “presents a line of devices and services, which seek to provide interaction with the public that visits it,” said the Portuguese Cork Association (APCOR) in a statement.


The designer responsible for developing the cork furniture for this retail store was Daniel Michalik. “I truly believe that cork is a high-value material for the future of design and architecture,” argues the designer, quoted in a statement. “It has incredible characteristics and performance and, in addition, sustains an entire ecosystem, being a unique example that all materials should follow,” he stresses.


Sustainability was one of the major concerns of the US tech company in designing this store, which received the LEED Platinum rating, a rating system that expresses how efficiently a building is designed and operated. “Sustainability is a fundamental principle for Google, and so the company’s first store continued this work and compromise with sustainable design,” Google highlights.


Daniel Michalik also adds that in 2020, when he was approached to develop the furniture for this space, he “immediately thought of cork due to its qualities, comfort, as well as its sustainability, principles that helped the store achieve the LEED Platinum rating,” he points out, quoted in a statement.