Rangkuman – Contextual Method #6 – Bamboo Engineering – The Next Context (Markus Roselieb from Chiangmai Life Architects)

Markus’s dream is to introduce bamboo as a valid and highly functional material into the general construction industry and to the general public. Markus and the team try to balance the exciting things to the familiarity in order to make the bamboo building. They also try to make the context is accessible to abroad middle class, that bamboo architecture is worth considering toward emphasis on engineering. Markus chooses the title “Bamboo Engineering – The Next Context” to open bamboo as the context of the present world where engineering is playing a major role in promoting and legitimizing construction materials.

In structural application, the most concerning thing of building a massive structure of bamboo is the connection, especially end-to-end connection. That’s why they started to look at the trusses’ structure first.
In Thailand, they have the kind of bamboo that has almost no hole. So if we put the bamboo together, you can put it longitudinally to avoid end-to-end connections which is the weak point and at the same time, they create the bamboo that looks like a steel cable which a lot of fibers coming together which also a lot stronger than one big structure. And then they connect the bundles with bamboo dowels in a different direction to cover every kind of force of the bundle.

Markus also uses earth material as a wall element in many of his projects. Earth is the material that has excellence in insulation, thermal mass, zero carbon footprint, long-lasting, but also beautiful. Markus thinks that earth is a material that goes well together with bamboo. Earth is the advantage of thermal mass for walls which bamboo doesn’t have because, in Chiangmai, you need something that is warm in winter and cool in summer. In the designing process, Chiangmai Life Architects uses a natural approach. They took inspiration from the atmosphere around the site as well as a symbol that implies the meaning of the building itself.

After all, why does bamboo matter? Bamboo has macroeconomic and socio-economic aspects that can even be built by big companies or even imported to different countries. A lot of money goes to one or two hands, whereas in bamboo it doesn’t work like that. So the impact for the whole country is quite enormously significant if we can promote bamboo, then a lot of money will be saved to a small people.

In conclusion, Marcus’s architectural think of the bamboo material is transformational, meaning that it doesn’t stop by the bamboo architecture itself but brings more hybrid architecture and recontextualizing into rammed earth architecture. Bringing the new context means that we can understand what’s the availability on site. The magnificent thing that Markus and the team do are they have trained a lot of bamboo craftsmen, and we believe that the ecosystem of bringing bamboo into the front stage will come alive.

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