A unique bamboo skyscraper, a semifinalist at the World Architecture Festival, puts a new twist on the use of bamboo as a building material. Instead of a single tower jutting into the sky, GRG Architects' bamboo building is an interconnected series of ever-rising towers, spiraling their way towards the clouds. The design was inspired by the structure of natural bamboo forests, where bamboo of different heights, widths and types grow side by side.
Sustainable construction was the main motivation behind the design. “Why wouldn’t we want to build with a strong natural fiber that takes five years to grow instead of 20, 40 or 80 years?” the architects said in a statement. Not only does bamboo exhibit sustainable and rapid growth, but its physical properties also make it an excellent building material. The grass has high-tensile strength which rivals that of steel, but is light enough to easily transport. Bamboo is also elastic, making it a very good building material in earthquake-prone areas.
Each tower of the bamboo skyscraper is designed in 20-meter-high modules, which allows the architects to use a single 30-meter length of bamboo to reach between modules. Cross-bracing the bamboo pieces reinforces the strength of the structure.
Steel joints strengthen the bamboo tubes. “We decided that stainless steel must be used as the joints’ material between bamboo, because of one very simple reason: 200 m height buildings cannot be tied with ropes!” Recyclable EFTE film, a material that’s self-cleaning and weather-resistant, is clads the building façade.
Images via CRG Architects