Blooming Bamboo Home

H&P Architects

Blooming Bamboo Home was designed to demonstrate one solution for housing potentially millions of people in flood-prone areas. Research by H&P Architects into flooding left the studio determined to satisfy three criteria for the design of a house: low in cost, fast and easy to build (by the homeowner), and flexible enough for widespread application.

The modular design of Blooming Bamboo Home makes use of bamboo poles in two diameters: 8-to-10 centimetres and 4-to-5 centimetres. Modules are sized 3.3 metres by 3.3 metres. The house is assembled by bolting, binding, hanging and placing the bamboo. The structure is anchored and braced, and strong enough to withstand natural disasters, including flooding up to 1.5 metres. The house is 44 square metres (when closed) and 62 square metres (when open) and can accommodate a family of six.

Construction can be completed quickly and easily within 25 days. People can build their house by themselves as all components are modularised. They can also proactively prepare materials in place and gradually improve the house over time according to their needs. The total cost of materials and equipment for a sample house is 55 million VND (~$2,500). A variety of roofing materials can be used, and local materials (such as bamboo wattle, plaited bamboo, coconut leaves) can be applied to the exterior to meet functional requirements.

Bamboo is a significant symbol for Vietnamese people – the ‘green steel’ of the twenty-first century. Solid, straight and tall bamboo stalks represent the resilience, indomitability and bravery needed to counteract natural disasters. A bamboo cluster reaches productivity 25 times faster than a normal forest. Bamboo grows constantly, and after three-to-five years it can be exploited without the need for replanting. The traditional treatment method is soaking the bamboo in mud and then smoking it. This makes the bamboo as durable as timber with average life expectancy of ten-to-twenty years.

Photography: Doan Thanh Ha