Forget yesterday's commune -- 'communal living' nowadays can refer to any number of situations -- from pricier market housing to low-income developments, or to temporary applications like refugee shelters. Falling somewhere in between is this Bamboo Pavilion -- a communal shelter by Australian designer Esan Rahmani and Mukul Damle that's a beautiful example of using sustainable and locally-sourced materials for disadvantaged communities living around the Indian Ocean Rim.
Shaped something like a bamboo doughnut, the shelter's spaces are truly communal in the sense that they are purposely arranged around a central shared space. Storage and individual/familial living areas radiate from this center, while operable windows and a central skylight provides most of the natural lighting and ventilation.
Strong, flexible, inexpensive and fast-growing, bamboo is a popular building material that's also easily found and widely used in the region. Bamboo's hollowness also means that it's often used as a way to channel water, a quality that the designers took advantage of by including a rainwater harvesting as part of the roof design.
On the roof, the bamboo is sectioned and tiled like terracotta, and also used like pipes along the rest of the exterior, allowing water to be channeled into a central basin in the communal space.
With its emphasis on creating common spaces using a multi-purpose sustainable material like bamboo, the Bamboo Pavilion is an another fresh look on broadening the definition of communal living.
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