The sustainable lightness of bamboo

“The unbearable weight of man”.
It could be the title of a novel that tells the burdensome development of our actions on Earth. In 2020, we crossed the border: buildings like houses, roads, dams and then glass, concrete and plastic and every single material we produce all exceeded the total biomass – from plants to animals, from viruses to humans – present in weight. on the planet. An impressive figure, and which makes us appreciate even more a book like Bamboo Contemporary – Green Houses Around the Globe, by the architectural historian William Richards, outside the Princeton Architectural Press (224 pp., 45 pounds). Volume is completely dedicated to this material, both old and innovative, and for us who live in temperate zones, still unusual in construction.

The cover of Bamboo Contemporary

Flexible, lightweight, sustainable, sustainable (it can grow almost a meter a day), adaptable, bamboo can not only today realize the ideas of architects and designers, but above all, it can be the idea itself. This is not a superficial and fleeting trend like those that over the years have caused us to periodically rediscover this plant as a symbol of return to nature, with forks with knotted handles or pressure of its reeds on upholstery fabrics.

Bambushuset, Atelier Stepan, & egrave;  in Brno, Czech Republic.  It has horizontal development and bamboo floors, exterior screens and internal partitions;

The bamboo house, Atelier Stepan, is located in Brno, Czech Republic. It has horizontal development and bamboo floors, exterior screens and interior partitions.

It has now become a tool, cutting board, soap dish, bowl and frees us from disposable plastic, and transforms itself into cutlery and saucers, even fabric. But Bamboo Contemporary shows us how bamboo can be “inhabited”, with beautiful projects made in China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Brazil, Ecuador, but also in the United States, Norway, France and the Czech Republic. The examples are really suggestive. , it’s worth discovering them all and we expect only a few. Like Aura House, in Green Village, Bali, by the Ibuku studio, a structure made of local blond bamboo.

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Its scenic interiors, which mention Art Nouveau and organic, play instead with bamboo in different colors. Another use of the plant, not in the structure or in the interior, is that of Bamboo Forest House in Taiwan, a project of Roewu architects: the top floor of the house has a kind of shell, a bamboo shade that provides more privacy without inhibiting wind circulation and natural lighting.

Tantangan Villa, by Wom architetctur, is located in Bali, on Nyanyi beach, in deep connection with the territory

Tantangan Villa, by Wom architetctur, is located in Bali, on Nyanyi beach, in deep connection with the territory

In Beijing, on the other hand, in the countryside near the Great Wall of China, Kengo Kuma and co-workers created the Great (Bamboo) House: in steel, glass and bamboo, it is the demonstration of a paradox, an “anti-object”, according to to the philosophy of Kengo Kuma. The Great Bamboo House is actually also a wall, a sweet shelter, where the materials and the light (and the shadows) with ease almost manage to lift the structure of this suggestive building, which is now part of a chain of hotels luxury.

Aura House in Bali, by the Canadian studio Ibuku, is;  made with bamboo grown in Indonesia

Aura House in Bali, by the Canadian studio Ibuku, is made with bamboo grown in Indonesia

Finally, the Maison Bambou, in Bessancourt, north of Paris, is the first house in France to have achieved the strict Passivhaus certification.

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Project by Karawitz – commissioned by the same founding architects of the studio – has the shape and volume of the typical farmhouse in the region, but is covered by another bamboo skin that will become more gray over time, in harmony with the rest of the houses: the reeds, kept whole, are the slats on the huge movable shutters that filter the light, shade and let the air through as needed.

Aura House, in Bali

Aura House, in Bali

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