Bamboo isn’t just beautiful, it’s also incredibly strong, fast-growing and able to thrive in a variety of climates. That makes it a top natural building material, appearing in diverse projects ranging from modern pavilions to rustic homes for the world’s poorest people. Here are 12 (more!) bamboo buildings that show off the material’s versatility.
Blooming Bamboo Housing for Vietnam
‘Blooming Bamboo‘ is a house made almost entirely of local, sustainable bamboo modules that can be assembled with bolting, binding, hanging and placing – no heavy construction equipment required. Designed by H&P Architects for Vietnam, where the weather can bring floods and landslides, the house can withstand 5-foot floods by rising and falling with the water. It costs just $2500 to build, and can be expanded with multiple units for larger structures.
Bali’s Ikubu Bamboo Based Architecture
How incredible is this bamboo Green School and Green Village project by Ibuki Architecture in Indonesia? This firm creates some of the world’s most complex and gorgeous bamboo structures with virtually everything made from this fast-growing eco-friendly grass. Basic structural supports, wall paneling, furniture, floors, railings and roofs are all constructed from bamboo for a result that’s strong, inexpensive and visually striking.
Living Bamboo for Chinese Experimental City
Living bamboo is an integral part of China’s experimental ‘City in the Sky,’ a project that aims to prove how bamboo can often take the place of less sustainable materials like concrete and steel. The ‘city’ is made up of a series of bamboo huts on a platform supported by bamboo poles. Two living, growing open-air bamboo structures are the standout features.
Pavilion for Communal Living
Designed as a communal shelter for disadvantaged populations living around the Indian Ocean Rim, ‘Bamboo Pavilion‘ by architects Esan Rahmani and Mukul Damle is an inexpensive solution for a common problem in areas experiencing both high poverty and extreme weather patterns. The bamboo home features private sleeping rooms centered around a communal living space so a number of families can take shelter within a comfortable, homey-feeling structure.
Undulating Panyaden School in Thailand
This elegant, undulating bamboo pavilion outside Chiang Mai, Thailand was built for the Panyaden School, based on Buddhist teachings. It aims to be environmentally friendly while teaching students about green living through a holistic education. The pavilion is made almost entirely of bamboo and has a form inspired by shapes in nature.
Towering Bamboo Science Center
Proposed for the Amazon rainforest in northeastern Brazil, this science center made of bamboo would offer research opportunities to scientists from the Royal Botanical Gardens and organizations like Kew. The bamboo to produce the structure would be grown on-site.
Bamboo Church by Simon Velez
Colombian architect Simon Velez used bamboo to create a gorgeous private cathedral, among other designs. Velez’s work aims to call attention to what bamboo is capable of, and his pioneering designs have won awards around the world.
Bamboo Symphony by Mansaram Architects
This office building in Bangalore, India promotes the use of sustainable and natural building materials – bamboo in particular. Bamboo supports hold up a flowing roof structure, but it’s also incorporated in a way you wouldn’t expect. Bamboo fibers were added to the concrete mix to make it lighter in weight.
Sustainable Nicaragua Prototype Home
The Bambu House is a showcase for the beauty of bamboo. A prototype for a sustainable bamboo design and manufacturing firm called CO2 Bambu which offers affordable, eco-friendly housing solutions in Spain, the house acts as a ‘life-sized laboratory’ to test as many bamboo applications as possible.
Bamboo Housing for Haiti
Bamboo poles are woven around towering housing in this concept for Haiti by architect Laurent Saint-Val, who says “It’s an architecture that segments space and which translates well the transient character of these habitats.” The bamboo trellis provides external structural support, and and the interior is lined with bamboo as well.
Bamboo Cladding on a Contemporary Passive House
Not all homes made of bamboo have a rustic or tropical feel. Karawitz Architecture used bamboo to create a folding screen facade on a contemporary home in France. ‘Passive House’ is closed on the North to limit energy loss, and opened on the South to let in the sunshine and warmth. The screens can be opened or closed if privacy or views of the outside are desired.