Vo Trong Nghia Architects is on a mission to prove that bamboo offers a sustainable alternative to traditional building materials—and their recently built “Green Ladder” pavilion is proof. Commissioned by Sydney’s Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF), the Green Ladder was constructed to resemble a dense forest grove and to raise awareness of bamboo’s strength and viability as a “green steel” building material. The artwork was unveiled March 1 on the grassy platform outside the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane.
The Green Ladder is the fourth iteration of SCAF’s Fugitive Structures, an annual architectural pavilion series. Vo Trong Nghia Architects’ 2016 bamboo pavilion is the first work by an Asian firm to be featured in the Fugitive Structures series. Made primarily of bamboo poles with a steel foundation, the grid-like pavilion is highly porous, offering multiple entry points and views of the sky through a clear acrylic ceiling. Beautiful bunches of bougainvillea punctuate the structure and are grown in wooden pots in bamboo matting.
“I want to bring nature back to the city,” Vo says. “In Ho Chi Minh City, the population has reached nearly 10 million with only 5.35km2 of green space – only 0.25% of the entire city. Vietnam’s unrestricted economic development has devastated the natural environment across the country. This is the problem architects need to solve.” The bamboo used in Green Ladder was cured in natural waterways and with fire smoke. The pavilion will stay on view in Brisbane until May 15, 2016, after which it will be relocated to SCAF’s courtyard in Paddington, Sydney in June 2016.
Images © Dianna Snape