Bamboo Dormitory by Architecture BRIO Treads Lightly

TreeHugger has shown many lightweight structures and promoted the idea that buildings should rest lightly on the ground. Perhaps the best demonstration we have seen is Architecture Brio's staff dormitory for NGO Magic Bus being constructed near Karjat, India.

The architects do many admirable things; they learn from precedent how people built before thermostats and mechanical ventilation to stay cool and comfortable.

They use a very light touch. They write:

In recent times architecture has been impacted by scarcity. This scarcity, in terms of the availability of materials and energy, building time, skilled labour, financial scarcity, or restrictions due to remote locations of the projects, has forced Architecture BRIO to search for smart solutions to deal with these constraints.

Since building is one of the most environmentally unfriendly human activities, architects should be determined to use their creativity to lower the environmental load of buildings and simultaneously turn scarcity into innovating architecture.



they reappropriate traditional materials (and traditional presentation techniques)

Buildings are known to require large amounts of materials, (un)renewable energy, and moreover they use already scarce space. The solution is not to merely reduce energy and materials consumption. There is a need to promote rapid, widespread acceptance of sustainable solutions. The challenge is to generate fresh ideas that carry out self-sufficient systems on a large scale. New building techniques, re-appropriating low-cost materials in an effective and durable way, and intelligent energy concepts should be integrated in an innovative way in architecture.


and they draw like angels.

The construction details emphasize the lightness of the structure. A steel plate, which is embedded in the pre-cast concrete beam, connects to both the lower and upper bamboo twin-column as well as the bamboo tie beams. While this steel plate cuts through the bamboo column to make use of reverse bending, the continuity of the bamboo columns is maintained accentuating the verticality of the structure.


Combining natural and local materials with state of the art technologies and materials such as wood, concrete and steel this building will portray a new construction idiom – an expression of contemporary sustainable architecture.

Astonishing work from principals Robert Verrijt (TUDelft, the Netherlands) and Shefali Balwani (C.E.P.T, India), and their firm Architecture Brio.

Found via PSFK and missed earlier at Inhabitat
On building light in TreeHugger:
What Lies Beneath: Our Homes' Foundations
Insulated Concrete Forms: Another Opinion
30 Different Ways to Put A Roof Over Your Head In These Tents Times

On learning lessons from the past:
Victorian Architects Knew How to Design Off-Grid
LEED Renovations: What's Old is New Again

Tags: Architects | Bamboo | India

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