VTN Installs Giant Bamboo Roof At The Venice Architecture Biennale

Vietnamese architecture firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects (VTN) has installed a giant bamboo roof at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale to highlight the integration of trees to every project in architecture. 

Called Bamboo Stalactite, the installation welcomes visitors at the Arsenale on the waterside with seating places underneath the structure. The installation features 11 slanted triangular columns creating a hyperbolic-paraboloid bamboo structure, which is exhibited as the firm's latest experiment with bamboo.

Described as the "green steel of the 21st century" by the architects, its bamboo composition combines both modular and human craftsmanship as it is designed to be assembled and dismantled easily. 

"Bamboo is a promising alternative to common building materials such as concrete, wood and steel. This is due to its extreme light -weight, high tensile strength, good bending quality, rapid growth rate, global availability and low-cost," said VTN in its project description.

"Throughout the years we have demonstrated through a series of wide ranging architecture projects the possibility of bamboo, which has been exploited in diverse contexts of scale, function, form and structure."

In the project description, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley Mcnamara, the curators of the Biennale, have addressed the positive effects of trees on human beings to as the architects made architecture for the poor and not just for the rich minority in the world. The curator also praised the architects for using ecologically economical materials in their projects. 

"Their work exemplifies numerous values expressed in our Manifesto, in particular the consideration of "the Earth as Client", said Yvonne Farrell and Shelley Mcnamara.

"The drawings for the structure of the Bamboo Stalactite are mesmerisingly beautiful especially their drawings of the plan. They appear like steel reinforcement drawings for a concrete tensile roof, which of course coincides with Vo Trong Nghia's description of bamboo being the "green steel of the 21st century," they added.

Bamboo bundled together forms the main structure; it was shipped to the site Venice from Vietnam and assembled together with Vietnamese and Italian architects and craftsmen.

"The term stalactite is intriguing and suggests that this structure was conceived as hanging from the sky, just touching the ground at points so as not to fly away," added the curators.

"The manner in which the bamboo is worked, bent and tied creates an amazing independent strength, needing only to be anchored."

Founded in 2006, VTN Architects (Vo Trong Nghia Architects) is a leading architectural practice in Vietnam with offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. More than 60 international architects, engineers and staff work closely on cultural, residential and commercial projects worldwide.

By experimenting with light, wind and water, and by using natural and local materials, VTN Architects employ a contemporary design vocabulary to explore new ways to create green architecture for the 21st century, whilst maintaining the essence of Asian architectural expression.

All images © World Architecture Community

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