We may have seen the rise and fall of bamboo clothing, but we are currently witnessing a renaissance of bamboo building in architecture. From swooping bridges to floating disaster-proof shelters, we've seen how bamboo exceeds expectations when it comes to strength, cost-effectiveness and beauty. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam-based firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects is one of these bamboo architecture pioneers, recently constructing a number of gorgeous projects that demonstrate the extensive capabilities of bamboo, which some have dubbed "vegetable steel."
Fusing traditional folk art and contemporary architecture, the firm has begun construction of eight 24-metre (78.7-foot) wide domes, all made with columns of woven bamboo stalks that have been secured into concrete foundations. Located on Diamond Island, an small artificial formation of land, the eight domes are intended as flexible community spaces for local residents, to use for conferences, parties and for a restaurant.
Traditionally used for baskets and furniture, in a recent interview with Dezeen, Nghia expressed his belief how bamboo, or what he calls the new "green steel," will supercede other materials in the coming years:
I think bamboo and laminated bamboo will replace other materials. I hope many architects realise the potential of the material and build with bamboo more and more.
Nghia has advocated the use of bamboo as a easily replaceable, inexpensive but strong cladding material, to be used in conjunction with concrete, as a way to solve Vietnam's housing crisis. The country's mostly warm climate means that bamboo is a feasible material to use in such a situation. According to the architect, once bamboo has been soaked in mud and smoked, it becomes as strong as timber.
Set to be completed in October of this year, this is another remarkable bamboo project that demonstrates the amazing capabilities of the material. See more incredible bamboo virtuosity from Vo Trong Nghia Architects.