Big Bambú: A Cresting Wave Hits New York City

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Image Credit: Nucho via Flickr

Bamboo gets used in a lot of ways, from underwear to flooring to windmills. But this summer, the roof of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to a forest of bamboo that is an aesthetic end in itself. Since April, artists Doug and Mike Starn have been building a cresting wave that measures 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 30 feet high, using 5,000 bamboo poles, tying them together with 50 miles of nylon rope. Called Big Bambú, the exhibition is a continuing work in progress, steadily growing and evolving even as it is open to the public.

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Image Credit: flickrfotografer via Flickr

Officially titled "Big Bambú: You Can't, You Don't, and You Won't Stop," the exhibition has been open since April and closes in October. With general admission to the Metropolitan Museum, you can get to the rooftop garden, where the structure is located. But if you want to do more than walk around the wave's base, and you've got your vertigo under control, you can take a guided tour up into the structure's pathways, thirty feet about the building's roof and overlooking Central Park.

The exhibition's website hints at Big Bambù's raison d'être:

Visitors witness the continuing creation and evolving incarnations of Big Bambú as it is constructed throughout the spring, summer, and fall by the artists and a team of rock climbers. Set against Central Park and its urban backdrop, Big Bambú suggests the complexity and energy of an ever-changing living organism.

Walking through the maze of bamboo, though, all I could think of was how beautiful it was. Working by hand and with simple materials, the brothers Starn have created a wonderful piece. If you're in New York City or will be before the end of October, make sure to stop by.

More on cool uses for bamboo:
Solar-Powered Bamboo Radio Designed to Save Madagascar Economy
Be Happy, Be Authentic, Make a Bamboo Bike
Bamboo Screens Shade Stunning French Passivhaus

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