Tag Archives: architecture

Bamboo on the Internet for July, 2014 – my picks

bamboo shinguardsBamboo on the Internet for July (and some of June):

  • This deserves to come first. A wonderfully simple and effective idea: Bamboo shinguards for soccer players. Time is running out for your opportunity to invest in the project on Kickstarter (18 August).
bamboo modern japanese

Bamboo in modern Japanese architecture. Click on the image for more.

bamboo building

  • Inspired by tepees? This triangular modular hotel made with bamboo is getting lots of attention. The design is a flexible system allowing the bamboo structure to be expanded horizontally and vertically, they say. It’s hard to imagine you wouldn’t feel every movement within the building.
  • Another take on expand-as-needed architecture is inspired by bamboo scaffolding.

bamboo scaffolding buildingJust add more floors as required, using waste from other offices. “Each floor is made from an interlaced network of tube framing, with construction building materials being sourced from waste material produced by the offices, namely paper and plastics.

  • One for the painters: here is a review of a bamboo brush box. It gets a 4.8 (out of 5) star rating on Amazon.

bamboo hospital

  • A new hospital in India is clad with bamboo. The bamboo “acts as a natural insulator and allows the hospital to do away with air conditioning in common areas such as lobbies and receptionThis resulted in saving electricity and reducing maintenance cost.” It looks good too.
  • Here is a short video clip about the construction of a traditional Hong Kong bamboo installation. The ‘flower plaque’ is part of the Smithsonian Institutes 2014 Folklife Festival. Learn more about flower plaques here and here.

zchair

  • Precision computerised joinery and high-tech adhesives are all that hold these bamboo chairs together. There’s also some nesting tables of a similar construction.
  • In case you missed the YouTube vids of the awesome rocket festival in Northern Thailand here is a link. Not for the faint hearted.

woodford bamboo tunnel

  • Colossal has published photos of Wang Wen-Chih’s finished bamboo entry tunnel (mentioned here back in October) at the Woodford Folk Festival site.

 

Bamboo on the Internet for June 2014 – my picks

bamboo sculptureBamboo on the Internet gets cut short this month. This particular post series is a bit fiddly to be done on a small tablet while I’m out and about in the world investigating a bamboo festival in South Korea and exploring the bamboo scene in Kyoto.

Date claimer

Entries are now open for the inaugural bamboo sculpture contest and exhibition in the delightful northern NSW town of Mullumbimby. Entries close 31 July. The competition will be judged on Saturday 6 September. Entry forms and more details can be found here.

  • The latest Lexus RX350 uses bamboo instead of wood-veneer finishes.

bamboo cat

  • A 10 metre pink cat would not normally catch my atttention. This one, however, is crafted from bamboo using 3D printing technology. It is the centrepiece for the Shanghai Design Week and is expected to remain after the exhibition closes. The Dutch creator says he was inspired by meeting some of Shanghai’s famously friendly stray cats.

 

  • bamboo restaurantFlavoursome chicken with fresh bamboo shoot? Delectable Naga pork ribs? In Delhi? DNAIndia reports that the Dzükou Tribal Kitchen, that features food from the mountainous state of Nagaland, is back. The decor features a small bamboo fountain, and a ceiling of dhokuwa, sourced from Assam, a traditional bamboo weave used as fences in village homes. The ingredients for the food arrive by train from Nagaland.
  • Love this. If you have to work in an office…
bamboo ceiling

Ceiling detail

bamboo ceiling

 

 

 

 

This is a factory refurbishment in Vietnam. The pliable bamboo ceiling conceals mechanical equipment and lighting fixtures.

Bamboo on the Internet for May 2014 – my picks

bamboo sculptureA bamboo art installation that you can climb on at the Israel Museum. It’s called 5,000 Arms to Hold You. Professional rock climbers were engaged to build it. While it is under construction there is a live webcam.

  • A competition (open to US and Canadian residents only AND since expired) alerted me to the existence of bamboo easels and bamboo easel boxes. There’s quite a range on Amazon and eBay au.

bamboo kiosk cambodia

  • Two items from designboom.com are noteworthy for us this month: a kiosk for a bear rescue centre in Cambodia and bamboo plants inside an office in Shanghai. The kiosk supports the work of the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. The park gets about 250,000 visitors annually. Their work combats the illegal trade in live bears and provides a safe sanctuary for rescued bears.

living bamboo office divider

  • Living bamboo is incorporated into the meandering central island of an open-plan office in Shanghai. The stands of bamboo, in large planters, create soft and unusual desk and room dividers. The central island, somewhat sadly, is made from timber. I’m sure the whole thing would have looked far superior had the architects chosen bamboo instead.

 

  • Bamboo salt update: A recent study has established that 9X Bamboo Salt probably prevents obesity in mice. Although, in the experiment, the researchers first unnaturally induced obesity in the mice. Still, this gives some people hope that the same result is possible for people. The (refereed) journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology published the research. The numerous other health benefits of 9X bamboo salt still stand. See a previous post for more about that.
  • bamboo leaves, zongzi, dumplings, dragon boat festivalA note from The Star online tells us that the dried ingredients for making dumplings for the Duan Wu festival cost more this year. This includes, of course, the dried bamboo leaf that wrap the dumplings. The dumplings, zongzi, are an important part of the annual Duan Wu celebration (dragon boat festival).  Why they are important is a matter of conjecture. The Star says it “originated from a practice to commemorate poet Qu Yuan, who drowned himself to protest against corrupt practices in China about 1,000 years ago. Back then, the local folk threw rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves into the river to prevent his remains from being eaten by fish.”  Here is a recipe if you need to practice for your local zongzi making competitions next year, like this one in Taichung, Taiwan:


Sources:

Park, K. Y., Ju, J. H., Song, J. L., & Moon, S. H. (2014). Anti-obesity effect of bamboo salt on diet-induced obesity in C57BL/6 mice (811.12). The FASEB Journal28(1 Supplement), 811-12.

Bamboo on the Internet for March 2014 – my picks

bamboo pplanterBamboo urinal: a self-contained and somewhat mobile, eco-friendly public urinal. The unit has three main components; planter module (with the growing bamboo); the water tank; and, the urinal and sink. One pees in the urinal (women can use a disposable funnel to achieve this). Once done, a foot pump draws water from the water tank for hand washing and urinal rinsing. The used water is pumped into the planter module/biofilter, where the bamboo is growing in a medium of rocks, wood chips and styrofoam. The water, nitrogen and phosphorous are used by the bamboo, while bacteria living in the growing medium break down carbohydrates and protein. There is reportedly little if any smell. A prototype was tested in a San Francisco neighbourhood and stood up to use by over 300 people within an 8 hour period, says Gizmag

bamboo housing

Bamboo shelters inside abandoned factory buildings is one solution for the housing shortage in Hong Kong offered by architects from AFFECT T. These are positively spacious compared to other barely-affordable options for Hong Kong’s poor workers. 

More for bamboo sticks, these ones more high-tech: Bamboo ski poles and bamboo skis. As a resident of the wet tropics, I rarely get to see snow, let alone play in it. You will find a review of new bamboo skis here. They look gorgeous. Mobile art? Some of them are available on Amazon. Alternatively, there are some very interesting looking vintage bamboo skis and ski poles on eBay au.

bamboo organThe Saint Joseph Parish Church in Las Piñas, The Phillipinesis now a designated National Treasure. The church is home to a famous bamboo organ, already a National Cultural Treasure. Pipe organ buffs will already be familiar with this historic instrument. People write books about it, write music for it, and record music played on it. There is a small book
and music selection on Amazon, and eBay au has a few records and CDs. If you’re too curious to hear the bamboo organ and can’t wait, here’s a YouTube clip for you:

 

Democratising Bamboo

The International Bamboo Conclave is on this weekend (22-23 Feb, 2014). Lucky you if you’re in Bangalore (India). Head out to the University of Agricultural Sciences.


The gathering provides a forum to promote bamboo for integrated development. There are technical sessions and an exhibition of products. Experts have gathered to discuss policy issues, innovative technologies, its use in buildings, furniture, handicrafts and other cottage industries, skill development in the bamboo sector, and global trends.

India is the second largest producer of bamboo in the world, next to China. India has 128 bamboo species belonging to 18 genera. They make up 12.8 per cent of the total forest area in India.

democratic bambooThe conclave brings to light why growing bamboo makes socio-economic sense. Architect and member of the Bamboo Society of India, Neelam Manjunath says “housing for the poor should be seriously thought over, as bamboo can be the best substitute to concrete. It can replace 70 per cent of steel and wood used in construction, and bring down the costs by nearly 40 per cent.”

For all the potential benefits, India lags in utilising bamboo. Apparently it all started with the British calling it the ‘poor man’s timber.’ Current government policies are not helping either. Bamboo is classified as timber in many states and permits are needed to harvest it. The Indian Forest Act effectively provides the forest department a monopoly over bamboo and creates opportunities for corruption and harassment.

Bamboo has the potential to generate economic wealth – sustainable and equitable development. Imagine if bamboo was put in the hands of the local people? To grow, to harvest and to add value? People determining and influencing their own future? Sounds democratic to me. What do you think?

Sources:

bamboo carpark

Bamboo: making the mundane outstanding

Leipzig is famous for many things. Wikipedia tells us about some of them: It is an ancient trade city, dating since at least the time of the Holy Roman Empire; Bach worked there for some 27 years;  Goethe studied there; the city has many ornate old buildings that survived the second world war; and Leipzig is famous for its opera house and its zoo, to mention only a few.

bamboo carparkLesser known perhaps, but infinitely more fascinating for my purposes today, is the car park at the Leipzig zoo – another example of beautiful and functional architecture using bamboo.

carparkCar parks are a necessary but rarely attractive fact of life. This five level car park (there is one underground) is not only attractive, but was built to a modest budget. The outer shell of bamboo poles, attached to a steel structure, is multi-functional. It serves as a protective railing and screen. Light and air are admitted, and sound is reduced.  The poles used for the bamboo shell have a diameter of between 100 and 120 mm. There is a 7 mm gap  between the poles.

carpark spiral

The void inside one of the spiral access ramps

Have you seen anything similar?

Main source: Slessor, C. (2005). Bamboo cage. The Architectural Review, 217(1300), 78-80.

Bamboo on the Internet for January 2014 – my picks

bamboo portable laptop deskCult of Mac reviews the bamboo AirDesk – A laptop tray/portable laptop desk with a mouse pad, and slot for your iPhone or iPad mini. And its available on Amazon.  Why only Macs?

The AirDesk would match the very stylish Chisel iPhone dock. Reviewed by Into Mobile and available for iPhone 4 and 5 on Amazon. Sigh (why only Macs?).

No such thing as organic bamboo fabric? This reminds me to further investigate bamboo textiles.

gucci bamboo heelsDid you like the Gucci bags with bamboo handles featured in the September version of this post? Now you can get bamboo heels to match. At A$650 a pair, much less expensive than the bag. Fashion Foie Gras described them as ” rather conservative and definitely have a party going on there from the back.”

The ever-increasing demand for PVC plastic kites is sounding a death knell for the craft of handmade kites in Hyderabad, India, according to the The Hindu.

bamboo2,500 bamboo strips dating from 305 BC, unearthed from an illegal tomb excavation in China, were donated to, and restored by, the Tsinghua University in Beijing. 21 of the strips are an elaborate multiplication matrix.

bambooMore innovative architecture from Designboom: bamboo sleeping units for an orphanage near the Thai-Burmese border. For more images and details, click on the image.

Still more from Designboom: Tranquillity in the heart of a metropolis. No, it’s not made of bamboo, rather, bamboo provides shade and shadow-play in an otherwise linear building. yutaka-kawahara-kaikouin-nenbutsudo-temple-designboom-44

More tranquillity (secular). (And more Designboom) What particular architectural elements achieve serenity for this cafe in Vietnam? Water? Bamboo? The curves? bamboo