My friend, an architect, shared: “Bamboo is now a trend. Bamboo can flexibly transform from luxury to rustic materials, and is close to human. Therefore, it can meet everyone’s needs. A number of families, restaurants, cafes, and homestays also switched to contemporary bamboo architectural design.”
| The contemporary bamboo architecture is both nostalgic and modern
Traveling to many localities in the country, sometimes I see images of impressive bamboo structures in my return to Hue. Replying to my story about bamboo, my maternal grandfather, who is 100 years old, said: “The image of bamboo is close to the lives of Vietnamese people for thousands of years. Due to its deep and lasting values in Vietnamese culture, many people see bamboo as a symbol of the people and country of Vietnam.”
Since ancient times, bamboo has been a material for building houses. It is very durable, cool, and easy to work with. However, over a long period of time, the development of reinforced concrete has made the use of bamboo for building houses less and less popular. After a long time, bamboo seems to return as a trending material for building house. Contemporary bamboo architecture is a combination of reinforced concrete and bamboo, bringing a fresh look to buildings, but still retaining ancient traditions.
According to the analysis of my architect friend, it is not without a reason for the return of bamboo architecture. There was a period when people mistakenly believed that bamboo material was only suitable for low-rise and small-scale projects. The reason is that people still do not fully understand properties of bamboo. So, there are still doubts about the durability and longevity of structures.
In fact, bamboo is a highly durable material. It is very hard (27% harder than oak) but malleable. Bamboo possesses more mechanical properties suitable for construction and architecture than many types of wood do. In Japan, there are bamboo houses with more than 2 centuries of age.
According to Tran Quoc Viet, an architect from Hanoi, bamboo material has a fibrous structure and many solid and hollow layers, that eventually create an ability in heat reduction. This is a traditional material and can be used in many climate zones.
While the amount of waste from the construction industry is a burden on the environment, bamboo materials do not create waste. It also creates fresh air for buildings and becomes the top choice for the ecosystem protection. For this reason, many people, especially those born in the countryside then moved to urban areas and became wealthy, want to retain the soul of the countryside and use the contemporary bamboo architecture.
The development of a bamboo construction project requires a creative process and technical expertise as well. Previously, the construction of bamboo column and beam structures mainly depended on skilled craftsmen. Today, advances in science and technology have brought about more effective and cost-effective solutions.
Occasionally, I travelled to explore. In my stopovers, I suddenly encountered bamboo architecture and felt strangely familiar. The contemporary bamboo architecture brings the spirit of close village culture and a mixture of modernity. The architect’s unlimited creativity has breathed life into bamboo, bringing fresh and unique features.