Known for his visionary work of building soaring structures with bamboo and greenery-covered homes, Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia is at again, this time completing a conference hall with two types of locally sourced bamboo.
Located near the central port city of Da Nang, the bamboo-supported, 8,320-square-foot space is part of Naman Retreat Resort, a complex consisting of various guest buildings, health treatment spas and more, covering over 3 hectares. The conference hall is situated as the first building that comes into view as guests enter the grounds.
It's a gorgeous space, especially when strategically lit up at night to emphasize its bamboo construction. Designed to hold up to 300 people, the conference hall is intended to serve a variety of functions -- hosting concerts, meetings, lectures and the like. Though the floor plan is in a simple, rectangular footprint, the space itself is elevated by the use of bamboo members that are bent and shaped into spectacular vaulted forms, which hold up the asymmetrically pitched and thatched roof.
Measuring 9.5 metres high (31 feet) and spanning 13.5 metres (44 feet) wide, the bamboo is configured as structural frames that are prefabricated on the ground, prior to being put into place in a good, old-fashioned 'bamboo raising.' The client chose to use bamboo construction for this large, open space because it is cheaper, quicker and more efficient than other available options.
There are actually two spaces here: one enclosed interior that's delineated by glass facades and concrete walls, and a open-air loggia supported by another 4 metres (13 feet) of bamboo vaulting.
When we talk about bamboo materials, we don't usually hear much about the various ins and outs of different species. Enlighteningly, the architects describe why they used two kinds of bamboo here:
There are two types of bamboo used in this building. For the straight columns the "Luong" bamboo was chosen for its strength and length that can reach up to 8 m. For the arches, the "Tam Vong" bamboo was used thanks to its flexibility features. The design follows the features of each type to combine them in a most efficient way.
Like Nghia's previous forays into large scale bamboo structures, this conference hall project is yet another instance that flouts conventional ideas about how bamboo and other green materials might be used in bigger, taller buildings. Proving that once properly treated (the architect apparently uses a technique of soaking bamboo in mud and smoking it), bamboo may very well be the next "green steel." See more over at Vo Trong Nghia Architects.