The Housing NOW project addresses home insecurity in a variety of affordable, efficient and sustainable ways. Started by Blue Temple, an architecture design studio based in Myanmar, the structures are constructed using bamboo that is locally available and endlessly renewable.

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A conical shaped structure draped in a white cloth

In addition to the low costs and reduced pollution from eliminating long transport emissions, the regionally accessed bamboo is a versatile product that’s suitable for a variety of uses. 

Related: Cutwork proposes innovative “just add water” housing for refugees

An interior of a bamboo structure filled with people sitting and standing facing the front

While bamboo is not new in construction, Blue Temple’s approach is an innovative spin on traditional methods that maximizes narrow shoots by bundling them together. The result of three years of research, this technique has drawn attention for its ability to provide low-cost and swift construction opportunities. In the case of the Housing NOW project, homes for refugees can be built in as little as a week and cost about the same as your average smartphone. 

A shaded structure with people playing and standing underneath it

Prefabricating the panels in the organization’s workshop expedites the process once the panels arrive onsite. With the help of the local community, structures offer a quick response for emergency housing in remote parts of the country affected by natural disasters and the results of governmental instability across the region. Locals are trained in the construction process, offering valuable skill building and a source of income. In this way, Blue Temple created a new industry that supports the economy and provides a task force that can respond to housing needs during the most urgent times.  

An exposed interlacing wooden beams filled with children playing all around and within it

According to a press release by Blue Temple, “Since the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021, nearly two million people have been internally displaced in the country,” so this project is not only timely, but offers a template for similar regions around the globe. At this time, Blue Temple’s architecture design studio is seeking support to scale up the production of low-cost bamboo housing for refugees in vulnerable communities in Myanmar.

+ Blue Temple

Images via Nyan Zay Hte,  Raphaël Ascoli, Alex Dyl and Matias Bercovich