Penda envisions an entire city of 20,000 people, built from modular bamboo structures


Bamboo as a sustainable, natural material is quite remarkable – as is evidenced from its impressive tensile strength that actually is more than steel. But even more remarkable would be an entire city made of bamboo that can supposedly house over 20,000 people. And, that is exactly the grand notion put forward by architectural firm Penda. According to its designers, a settlement infrastructure can be initiated by incorporating specialized structures that are built by interlocking horizontal and vertical bamboo rods. In essence, this will contribute towards a wholly modular (and sustainable) system where buildings can be expanded in every direction conceivable.

The specific bamboo framework in question here was developed by the studio in 2014, for a flexibly-contrived hotel. In terms of layout, it entails an organized module of bamboo rods strengthened with X-shaped joints (also made of bamboo), and then additionally tightened by rope. Christened as the ‘Rising Canes’, these modules have the structural potential to support expansive structures, ranging from emergency housing to heavy-circulation urban centers – as assessed by the experts. In fact, one of the Rising Canes installation even made its debut at the Beijing Design Week held in September of this year.


Now, as for the core working scope of these bamboo modules, the main advantage lies with their improved stability on the addition of more X-shaped joints. Simply put, structures with their multiple levels can be constructed, extended and stabilized by strategic incorporation of an array of such bamboo frameworks. This scope alludes to an organic (and ecological) growth pattern, with the ‘city system’ gradually expanding to accommodate greater number of people. And the best part is – the buildings can also be disassembled on a moment’s notice with minimum amount of wastage incurred on the part of the inhabiting population. As the architects made it clear –

The system can grow to a habitat for 20 families within the first nine months. As the number of inhabitants keeps growing, the structure gets extended to accommodate multiple communal spaces, bridges and even floating structures. By 2023 the bamboo development is extended to an urban configuration, inhabited by a population of 20,000 people and surrounded by a bamboo grove of 250 acres.

Suffice it to say, such a large-scale sustainable endeavor would need its fair supplies of bamboo components. In that regard, the studio has already laid down plans to collaborate with suppliers and manufacturers in China’s Anji County, one of the biggest bamboo-export regions in the world. This in turn hints at a thriving economic community specifically nurtured for the creation of huge bamboo-based cities and proximate bamboo plantations.

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Via: Dezeen

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