Though bamboo might have questionable advantages as flooring or fiber, it is nevertheless an awesome building material in its own right, especially in places where it grows locally. Take this incredible structure built by Dutch firm 24H-architecture as part of the Six Senses Soneva Kiri eco-resort on the remote island of Koh Kood, Thailand: it's designed as a children's activity and learning center, but the fantastic interiors are bound to impress even the most stoic grown-up.
Evoking the fluid shape of a manta ray, the children's center is located on a rocky slope overlooking the bay. A large canopy of bamboo shingles shelters the open interior of "mini-structures" which features an auditorium, library with a netted reading floor, art and music rooms, slide and a neat suspended play area pod, all woven with rattan, with flooring made with river red gum wood. Say the designers (PDF):
The design adopts all bioclimatic aspects to suits its humid tropical environment. The roof cantilevers up to 8 metres, acting like a big umbrella providing shade and protection from the heavy rains. The open design with the translucent elevated rooftop and setback ﬂoors allow a natural airﬂow inside and the use of natural daylight, limiting the building’s energy consumption.
Outside, there's a toddler sleeping structure nearby, plus a "cooking cave" with its own vegetable patch that lets kids harvest their own meal.
The structure uses locally-sourced bamboo stalks of all sizes, ranging from the large main columns that are anchored into concrete footings to the other structural members that are grouped together using nuts and bolts and natural fiber lashings; there's concrete grouting and rebar reinforcing the inside of the columns too, according to the detail drawings.