Integrating disaster resistance along with local building traditions, we were impressed with Vietnamese H&P Architects' design for an affordable bamboo house that floats when it floods, earlier this year. A real-life prototype of the modular design has since been constructed, using locally abundant materials like bamboo and coconut leaf, along with more engineered stuff like fiberboard.
Seen over at Designboom and intended to withstand floods of up to 1.5 meters (4.9 feet), the 3.3 by 6.6 meter (10.8 by 21.6 feet) module can be put together within 25 days and little technical know-how, using a variety of simple fastening techniques like bolting and binding. The cladding can be specified and varied according to local conditions and requirements, while the interior is designed as a multifunctional space, depending on the users' needs.
On the outside, there's a wall dedicated to growing edible plants in a vertical fashion.
The built structure is beautifully minimal yet flexible and well-conceived; inspired by traditional Vietnamese building techniques, the roof's articulating shutters are quite impressive indeed.
Motivated to act by the severe floods that recently affected Vietnam, the designers are hoping to see whole communities built in such a way that allows them to survive natural disasters, while also empowering the populace and strengthening collective building traditions.
As a wonderful integration of traditional building skills, materials and disaster resistance, we hope to see this prototype become available to more people in flood-prone areas of the subtropics; the designers are now testing and tinkering with the model to see if it will survive 3 meter (9.8 feet) high floods. More information in our previous post and over at H&P Architects.