Grow Your Own House: Simon Velez and Bamboo Architecture

Grow Your Own House: Simon Velez and Bamboo Architecture

Author(s): Simon Velez

Publisher: Vitra Design Museum; Bilingual edition (January 1, 2000)

ISBN-10: 3931936252

ISBN-13: 978-3931936259

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Today, people are rediscovering the advantages of bamboo, one of the world’s key construction materials. Not only is it cheap and enduring, but also has an unmistakable aesthetic appeal. It’s inner structure bears an astonishing resemblance to many high-tech compounds. This book offers scholarly text along with abundant photographs and sketches.

Simon Velez — today’s most renowned architect working in bamboo — is the focus of much of this material. His impressive engineering achievements are seen in generously overhanging roofs, ingenious load-bearing structures, sophisticated joints and an innovative combination of materials. He successfully brings together traditional Columbian structural designs, ecological processes and avant-garde technology. Prominently featured is Velez’ ZERI pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany.

The title implies a focus on residential work, but much (perhaps more than half) of the projects are commercial, showcasing some truly impressive engineering. While joinery, botany, structure and engineering are covered, the essence of this book is about the possibilities of bamboo as a truly modern sustainable building material. There is much to stimulate the intellect in both the text, photos and illustrations.

Also discussed are the bamboo experiments of Buckminster Fuller, Frei Otto, Renzo Piano, Shoei Yoh and Arata Isozaki. Essays by Jean Dethier, Walter Liese, Eda Schaur, Frei Otto and Mateo Kries are presented in German and English.

256 pages, 2000

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