There are more than 1600 species of bamboo and around 65% are native to S.E Asia. In 2017 Building Trust International hosted an international Bamboo Festival located in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh and looked for innovative and creative designs for the central pavilion of the festival, finding new ways to use a plant which has such a strong connection with Cambodia.
Regarding the extremely short time for construction we propose a structure with a limited amount of simple, repeating elements that are easy to build, fast to assemble and provide the biggest possible multi-functional event space. In this case, arches are very efficient and suitable structural elements.
Due to the temporary nature of the pavilion, underground foundations where not allowed. Therefore at the base the 120mm wide main bamboo poles forming the arches are anchored into prefabricated steel tubes that welded on steel bars. Four cubic large bamboo planters at the corners provide enough weight and stability to support the arches. The main poles are connected with the bended upper parts of about 60mm diameter each.
The horizontal substructure is composed of a layer of about 20mm thin bamboo. The roof is covered by four equally sized tent-like textile membranes which are spanned over the bamboo arches, creating an iconic form which at the same time allows for maximum accessibility and permeability in the center of Freedom Park Square.
The whole structure is very light so as to minimize the amount of bamboo and other materials and at the same time maximize the space inside the pavilion. It can be easily disassembled and rebuilt at a different location.
As a special feature the central hole allows for optimal daylight usage and water drainage at the same time. In order to guarantee maximum space for event activities the drainage pipe in the middle is made out of textiles and can be moved up and down with attached ropes. Through it the interior will always get sufficient day-light and when it rains the adjustable textile pipe drains the water from beneath the bamboo floor of the pavilion which rests on simple bricks. This creates an amazing atmosphere almost like a classical Italian dome and when it rains the visitors can see and hear the water flowing through the center of the pavilion, like an indoor waterfall.
Building Trust international