Under the shadow of natural abundance

Goldfish beach bar

Not just for present delight but for the betterment of generations to come, various organizations and institutes are using bamboo as mainstream building material even for large scale building and infrastructure projects.

As the communities across the world are unanimously  moving towards sustainability, architects are sorting their options to build their structures with materials that are sensitive to nature. There can’t be any better sustainable alternative than bamboo due to its high strength, flexibility and alluring golden sheen. Bamboo is being used to create beautiful and majestic structures that are green and respect their surrounding environment. It is imperative to build homes, resorts, offices and etc that are in harmony with the natural environment around them.

From luxurious resorts, greenhouses to public buildings there are some really imposing architectural structures built from bamboo, that prove sustainability, comfort and luxury can be fused  together.

Bamboo Metro Station Bangalore
Bamboo Metro Station Bangalore

Designed  by Mansaram Architects, Neelam Manjunath, Metro Station in bamboo at Bengaluru for BMRCL is a wonder in which  Bamboo is introduced in the design to showcase its potential how a traditional fragile-looking material can be used in large infrastructure projects. The project retrofitted the bamboo in a manner to replace a huge amount of steel used in large infrastructure projects which lead to immense carbon emission.

The House of five Elements located in the Aditi Greenscapes in Bangalore, a residential layout is another such example of sustainable construction. It’s a prototype created from a wall from prefabricated panels and  has been used as a niche in the first floor. A green shell roof over bamboo lattice grid is done over bamboo supports.

House of Five Elements
House of Five Elements

Chief Minister of the State of Assam recently inaugurated three bridges in the city of Guwahati and out of the three, the one built at Khanapara has been designed with bamboo. The newly built bridge looks dazzling in the night due to its golden lustre and helps the people to conveniently traverse across the two sides of road. Along with it, the bridge also marks the importance of bamboo and its diversity prevalent in Assam.

There is still a long way to go before India catches up with the rest of the world in adopting  bamboo building construction technologies for mainstream buildings. It  will take a lot more research work and geometrical acumen to replicate the models in the lab to the ground.

Apart from India, other Asian countries have also been experimenting with bamboo as a potential item in constructing drafty and eco-friendly  establishments.

The Ulaman Eco-Retreat Resort
The Ulaman Eco-Retreat Resort

The Ulaman Eco-Retreat Resort in  Kaba-Kaba village, Bali  is made mostly from bamboo. Having a wondrous design it  has been constructed using materials found directly on the site and the immediate locality which helped the resort become completely carbon zero. Apart from bamboo, rammed earth has been used for the resort‘s ground-level walls. Rammed earth is a wonderful green alternative to concrete which is responsible for more than 8% of the construction industry’s emissions which contributes to 30% of global greenhouse emissions.

Thilina Liyanage’s Beach  bar is another  incredibly designed architecture  resembling a scaled-up model of a goldfish, the Beach Bar looks stunning from every angle. The fish’s hollow body serves as the bar + counter area, while the space right beneath the tail provides ample seating. Made with an underlying bamboo structure, the Beach Bar comes with a fish-scale-inspired golden fabric clad that gives the bar its fishy appearance from the outside, while providing partial shade on the inside during the day.

Given the current state of  environmental and economical emergency there is a dire need to look for sustainable alternatives in construction industries. But the question is: how far do these alternative materials and technologies match up with the conventional ones? Why are people still reluctant to use Bamboo as building material?

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