Bamboo could revolutionise how we live

A Chinese architecture firm has a novel vision of how people could live in the future: in giant tree houses made of bamboo that grow as needed, just like the plant itself.

The Chinese architecture firm Penda wants people to live in trees one day. It designed a building made of bamboo that doesn’t require any nails or planks to assemble – and it can be expanded almost indefinitely, reports the Swiss weekly newspaper, the Handelszeitung.

The building blends into a bamboo forest and consists of both cut and still living bamboo rods. For every bamboo rod used, two bamboo plants are planted. The goal is to create a habitat over time that can support itself and naturally expand with the number of residents. According to Penda, one small bamboo tree house could eventually develop into a town with 20,000 residents.

The bamboo rods are interlocked with x-shaped joints of the same material and then fixed with rope for additional strength. Plants in and around the building could offer shade and also be used to grow food. Plans are underway to build the first model, which could house 20,000 people, on the outskirts of Beijing by 2023.

Bamboo fits nicely into the trend of sustainable architecture. Unlike bamboo wood, bamboo cane has the advantage that it grows faster. Even when the cane is cut, it still remains a part of the root system, enabling the plant to regenerate itself.

According to the architects, their bamboo house could be built anywhere in the world where bamboo grows and could contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas particularly in poorer countries. Penda was recently awarded second place in the internationally renowned A’Design Awards competition for their vision of eco-friendly architecture and construction.


Image credit: Penda

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