The Architectural Association and Foster + Partners have announced John Naylor of Diploma Unit 16 as the 2013 Foster + Partners Prize recipient for his project ‘Bamboo Lakou’. Presented annually, the award is presented to an AA Diploma student whose portfolio best addresses the themes of sustainability and infrastructure.
Brett Steele, Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, said: “John Naylor’s project demonstrates the ways in which infrastructural ideas – and architectural imagination – might today expand beyond the clichés of Modernism to become life itself, literally breathing life into communities, cities and entire countries – today and long into the future.”
Set in the context of Haiti – a country suffering massive deforestation – the project combines the creation of a sustainable bamboo-growing infrastructure with the development of the vernacular ‘Lakou’ communal courtyard typology. The aims of the project are to establish bamboo within the Haitian construction sector, as an earthquake-resistant alternative to concrete, and to set in motion a long-term reforestation strategy.
“An exploration of the physical properties of bamboo presented the opportunity to create a new constructional vernacular in Haiti, with bamboo-framed buildings capable of resisting hurricanes and earthquakes,” stated Naylor. “This re-materialization of the country’s construction industry also aims to engender the widespread growth of bamboo – a material with a range of ecological benefits.