In Thailand bananas are plentiful, which means that sturdy banana fibers are readily available for use as a building material. Architectkidd, a very creative architecture & design practice in Bangkok, Thailand, has fashioned these durable fibers into an architectural facade on a residential building. The team visited communities outside of Bangkok to learn traditional techniques for harvesting and processing the banana plant material, and then figured out how they could use it to create a sustainably-crafted shade screen for the building. The hand-made result is quite beautiful and natural, and it also helps keep the building cool.
In 2008, Architectkidd was asked to design an architectural facade for a residential building called Happyland Townhouse in Bangkok, Thailand. The team chose to focus on natural materials and fibers, so they built the screen out of a specific type of banana plant that has robust properties when processed. Team members Pailin Paijitsattaya and Kanin Amboon visited communities outside of Bangkok to learn the traditional techniques of harvesting and processing of the plant materials, which are then used in basket weaving, mats and other domestic functions.
After their research they decided on a double twisting technique, which provided the necessary strength for the architectural application and a beautiful pattern of the shade screen. The banana fiber was then twisted into various patterns on a number of screens that were then installed on the exterior of the building. Besides giving the building an modern look that is both natural and contemporary, the screen also shades the building from the sun while facilitating natural ventilation into the interior of the townhouses and adding a level of privacy that was not there before.
Photo credits: ©architectkidd