Bamboo is one of the most popular construction materials used today. In fact, it has been utilized to build countless homes, commercial spaces such as hotels and restaurants, public buildings like schools, and even artistic pieces for exhibits around the world.
What makes bamboo ideal for transforming architectural structures is the fact that it is affordable, durable, sustainable, yet still visually appealing. It can also thrive in different environments which makes it perfect for countries with hot, humid climates and cold weather.
Curious to know which structures took advantage of all the benefits that bamboo can give? Take a look at these 17 popular bamboo buildings made of architectural timber screens.
Image Source: ArchDaily
Indochine Hotel in Kon Tum, Vietnam is the home to a beautiful cafe which features striking bamboo poles in its architectural design. Designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, it references the shapes of typical Vietnamese fishing baskets through the bamboo columns and ceilings. All the fixings used in the columns are bamboo that’s been constructed using traditional techniques like smoke-drying and nailing.
To further emphasize its connection to nature, the Indochine Restaurant is built without any walls which allow uninterrupted views across the surrounding man-made water feature and beyond the distant river and mountains.
Image Source: ArchDaily
Aside from Indochine Cafe, another food business in Vietnam that utilised bamboo in its architectural structure is the Hay Hay Restaurant and Bar.
It features two bamboo domes and 29 columns that use architectural timber screens. These structures support the building’s distinct pitched roof which draws inspiration from a hyperboloid shell.
There are actually two types of local bamboo used to build the restaurant—tam vong and luong. Tam vong is the one with a small diameter but thick exterior skin which makes it perfect for bending. Luong, on the other hand, is made for building heights as it’s both strong and tall.
Image Source: Dezeen
The Hay Hay Restaurant and Bar is actually located inside the Naman Retreat Resort in Vietnam, and consequently, made by the same architects (Da Nang Vo Trong Nghia Architects).
Aside from its bamboo restaurant, the resort also features a conference hall made of architectural timber screens. This building’s main bearing structure is made of 9.5-meter-high ceiling and 13.5-meter-wide hall which can easily accommodate at least 300 people at once.
The resort also uses stone and glass alongside bamboo to achieve the perfect relaxing atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Image Source: Inhabitat
Vietnamese architects really love utilising bamboo for their construction projects because of their availability and durability. Another building that made use of these architectural timber screens is Bamboo Wing, a “bird-like” amphitheatre located near Hanoi, Vietnam.
The structure is entirely made of bamboo and is shaped like bird wings flying into the sky, hence the name of the building. It has a 12-meter open space used for many purposes (art exhibits, concerts, parties, weddings) without featuring any vertical columns. This allows the audience to enjoy any event free from obstructions.
Image Source: Uniq Hotels
Another Asian country that likes to take advantage of the numerous benefits bamboo can give is Thailand.
The Bangkok Tree House is a 4-star hotel located just on the outskirts of the capital city. It prides itself as one of the few green establishments along the Chao Phraya River. It incorporates a lot of sustainable features such as reclaimed bamboo decor, wind and solar-powered energy, rainwater harvesting system, and LED lighting.
Image Source: Dezeen
Inspired by natural rock formations found inside caves, Thai designer Nattapon Klinsuwan built the Chalachol Salon using bamboo. He utilised thousands of these architectural timber screens to be used as a bold feature for the establishment. He hangs them above the ceiling to mimic stalagmites found inside caves. He also took advantage of their hollow and circular nature to separate different areas of the building without enclosing off the open space.
The Chalachol Salon is definitely a must-visit place if you want to experience the extraordinary while doing a perfectly ordinary thing—a haircut.
Image Source: ArchDaily
Located inside the ShiQiao Garden in China is a floating tea house made of bamboo. It is a building designed by Harmony World Consulting & Design, a company dedicated to incorporating both traditional Asian aesthetic and modern design through architecture.
As such, the bamboo courtyard inside ShiQiao Garden embraces the same philosophy by arranging bamboo both horizontally and vertically all over the area. This ultimately blends in with the natural environment while still maintaining its modern purposes.
Using these architectural timber screens is also one way to ingeniously spice up a tea house. Since tea is very important to the Chinese, it requires a very calm setting in order to appreciate its lengthy process and unique taste. And what better way to relax and connect with nature than utilising bamboo for such establishments.
Image Source: Green Village Bali
Currently the tallest bamboo structure in Bali, Indonesia, Sharma Springs is definitely an architectural wonder to see. It is built by architects from IBUKU for the Sharma family.
This residential building is made almost entirely out of bamboo. It features 6 floors that house an open-air living area, dining room, kitchen, and bedrooms enveloped in glass. It even has a playroom, lounge area and library!
The Sharma Springs is indeed a forest getaway, perfect if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of everyday city life.
Image Source: The Jakarta Post
Bamboo is not only for residential and commercial buildings, though. It can also be used for public buildings such as schools as shown by a particular institution located in Bali, Indonesia.
Green School prides itself as an educational establishment made entirely out of bamboo. The owners believe in the importance of an open-air, no-walls school which ignites the senses of every student. It is a place where creativity, innovation, passion, and learning flourish to build a loving and environmentally-aware community.
Did You Know? The Green School will also be established in three different countries—New Zealand, Mexico, and South Africa—which will be finished in a span of 1-2 years.
Image Source: West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre is a temporary structure (2012-2014) built to hold the art performances in Hong Kong for the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Taking inspiration from traditional theatres constructed during the 1950s, this bamboo structure is the perfect place to host Cantonese operas as it can easily accommodate 850 people at once. In addition, the West Kowloon Theatre’s distinct timber-clad design together with the stark red and yellow coloured New Year lanterns stands out from the modern, urban landscape of the city. It’s the ultimate site for countless families and friends to get together during the Lunar New Year festivities.
Did You Know? The West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre was built with over 12,000 individual pieces of bamboo rods.
Image Source: ArchDaily
Architectural structures made from bamboo have long been common in Asia. And now, these sustainable and durable construction materials are finally starting to appear in several American and European countries. As shown by a farm (yes, a farm!) located in the state of Indiana in the USA, bamboo is also just as versatile like any other construction material like concrete and steel.
The Mason Lane Farm aims to be simple and sustainable by using architectural timber screens as the primary building material. The whole area features two main barns—a fully enclosed work and storage area made of both bamboo and metal and an open-air shed to store both hay and equipment.
The first barn is built with ventilation in mind, especially with farmers working day in and day out. That’s why bamboo is used to keep the air moving inside the building. Bamboo’s strength is further reinforced by incorporating corrugated metal panels, especially given the humid weather conditions in the state of Indiana. The second barn, on the other hand, allows light and air to come in. It is clad in lattice grids which provides ventilation in order for the hay to dry naturally.
Overall, the Mason Lane Farm is another proof that bamboo is definitely a reliable construction material that can target your specific needs.
Image Source: Archello
The Museo Nómada, also known as the Nomadic Museum, is another temporary structure made out of bamboo. Having been constructed in different countries—Italy, USA, Japan, and Mexico, it is a travelling museum used to house the photography and film exhibitions of Gregory Colbert.
Colbert was inspired by the concept of a sustainable mobile structure that can easily be assembled, no matter where you are in the world. This is the exact reason why he always chose to collaborate with architects who share the same vision and practice—utilising bamboo as the main construction material. And in 2008, in Mexico City, his dreams was once again realized when he (together with architect Simón Vélez) built the largest bamboo structure ever created to house his “Ashes and Snow” exhibit.
Image Source: Pinterest
But before the Museo Nómada was constructed, Colombian architect Simón Vélez had been using bamboo for many times in his projects. He firmly believes that bamboo is better than steel because it’s less heavy yet still providing the same—if not better—strength and resistance.
One of his many bamboo projects include the temporary Bamboo Cathedral he built in Pereira, Colombia. The structure’s roof was supported by only five bent Guadua bamboo poles. The slenderness and immense durability of the material makes resistance to buckling possible.
Did You Know? Simón Vélez also constructed a bamboo bridge located in the five-star Crosswaters Ecolodge hotel in China. It is considered to be the first permanent bamboo structure in Chinese history.
Image Source: ArchDaily
The Carabanchel Social Housing is a unique piece of architecture. It is oriented on a north-south direction with an urban park located on the west. But what really makes this building distinct from the others is the fact that there is a wide balcony situated around the full exterior. These terraces are then enclosed with foldable bamboo louvres that act as a protection against sun exposure.
And while the whole establishment is not really made of bamboo, the architects’ ideas to incorporate both space and light—through architectural timber screens—while having a limited budget are really commendable.
Image Source: Archello
Also known as Leipzig Zoological Garden, it is one of the most visited zoos in Germany with about 1.3 million visitors every year. With these numbers of visitors in mind, the parks’ owners held a competition back in 2002 to design a parking lot with an economic concept. In the end, HPP Architects’ idea to incorporate a bamboo façade emerged victorious and they were tasked to build the garage between 2002 to 2004.
This bamboo building was perfectly in match with the overall concept of the zoo. It prepares the visitors right away for the zoo experience that awaits them inside the actual animal park. But aside from these aesthetic purposes, the bamboo façade also serves as a way to minimise noise emissions. It also provides proper ventilation and natural lighting which ultimately reduces the need for unnecessary energy needs.
Image Source: Green Magazine
Bamboo is so versatile that it has been used everywhere from restaurants, art exhibits, and churches to schools, farms, and even zoos. And in Australia, bamboo has been repeatedly utilised for music festivals.
During Queensland’s annual Woodford Folk Festival, Cave Urban, Sydney-based designers, built not only one but two bamboo structures at the festival site. These structures are called Shade Parade and the Hammock Hut which were built to provide sun protection for the festival goers. But aside from shading the people, the designers still considered the garbage trucks and large vehicles getting in and out of the concert grounds. That is why they chose bamboo in order to construct a very high yet still lightweight structure that allows vehicles to pass through.
MPavilion is Australia’s leading architecture commission. Every year, the organization would contract for an outstanding architect to build a temporary pavilion for the Queen Victoria Garden.
In 2016, Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai was selected to spearhead the cultural project. In doing so, he opted to only use traditional materials and methods in order to build the pavilion for the organization. He brought the concept of “lore” alive by combining bamboo with rope, earth and bluestone sourced from both Australia and India. He ultimately built an architectural place of beauty, cohabitation, warmth, and meaning.
Did You Know? Bijoy Jain’s MPavillion is considered to be largest bamboo structure ever built in Australia. After its temporary installation in the Queen Victoria Garden, it is now housed at the Melbourne Zoo.
Bamboo is one of the most durable and versatile construction materials around the world. Aside from these benefits, the 17 bamboo buildings made of architectural timber screens listed in this article also prove that it offers a distinct aesthetic look at a relatively affordable price.
Interested in using bamboo for your next project? House of Bamboo, Australia’s leading supplier of natural and sustainable materials, offer a range of architectural timber screens that can be used as shading, flooring, privacy screening, and more. Contact us today to learn more!
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George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional. Who works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, a digital marketing firm in Sydney and a Digital Media Manager for House of Bamboo, offering Australia the most varied collection of classic and new natural materials.
House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source of eco-friendly and high-quality natural materials that can be integrated into a contemporary setting. Our range encompasses high-quality bamboo fencing, timber screens, privacy screens, decorative screens, ceiling panels, rattan cane webbing, fence panels, and pool certification. #NotJustBamboo