Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2017
Conceived as the new centrepiece of the Building Trust’s International Bamboo Festival, our design for a landmark bamboo structure celebrates Cambodia’s richly layered history, tectonic tradition, and ethnographic context.
Sited at the heart of Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh, our proposal utilizes mathematical concepts to express the tectonic qualities of bamboo grid-shell structures. Inspired by Frei Otto’s soap film experiments with minimal surfaces as well as Felix Candela’s works with complementary hypar shell structures, our design explores innovative uses of bamboo by understanding its mechanical and structural properties, and modulating the material to conform to the geometry of an Enneper minimal surface to produce a self-supported structural system.
A split bamboo roofing wraps around the exterior of the pavilion, protecting it from the elements whilst giving it a rich textural appearance reminiscent of the vernacular architecture of Cambodia’s rural landscapes. As a result, the structure maintains a highly contextual character whilst employing cutting-edge digital tools to optimize both aesthetics and structural efficiency. This will serve as an elegant example of how traditional materials and low-tech joinery techniques can be used to produce expressive structures accessible to less affluent communities in areas with limited construction resources.
The use of locally sourced bamboo minimises the building’s carbon footprint and maximises the building’s lifecycle, in tune with the sustainable ethos of the Building Trust.
Client: Building Trust International
Bldg. Area: 110 m2
Status: International Design Competition – Honourable mention
Architect: LUCA POIAN FORMS