Text description provided by the architects. Following up a year of development, Penda has unveiled their installation for Beijing Design Week (BJDW) 2015 – Rising Canes, a structural system made entirely of bamboo and ropes. Meant to be a speculation system for larger developments, the installation is fully modular, ecological and easy to expand in every direction. Bamboo was chosen as the main construction material for its long traditional roots in China and fantastic structural capability, as well as part of a desire to fight its current obscurity as a construction material.
From the architect: For our Pavilion for the BJDW, no nails or screws were used and all materials are 100% recyclable. Furthermore the Bamboo does not get drilled in the process. All joints are tied with ropes, leaving bamboo canes unharmed to be reused after the installation. We see our project strongly connected to the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ movement, which proposes a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create waste-free, self-sufficient systems.
During the BJDW, visitors will seed plants into baskets to be connected to the pavilion. The plants will grow along the structure and after some time, nature will be the main design-element, the architecture secondary.
Over the next ten years, Rising Canes will expand to a viable alternative to current standards in construction. The use of natural materials like bamboo in a smart, modular system, gives the structure the freedom to grow in every direction. By adding and connecting new bamboo canes, the structure grows and becomes stronger, able to take on more loads. To ensure a steady building material supply, a neighbouring bamboo grove is planted. For each culm of bamboo taken as a construction material, 2 new trees must be planted to the forest. This approach secures building elements in the long run and creates a beautiful bamboo forest surrounding the development.
Starting with a small structure for the BJDW, the individual elements are delivered to another site to expand its size. Located in Anji County, the largest export region for bamboo in the world, the system can grow to a habitat for 20 families within the first 9 months. As the number of inhabitants keeps growing, the structure is extended to accommodate multiple communal spaces, bridges and even floating structures. By 2023 the bamboo development is extended to an urban configuration, which houses a population of 20,000 people and a surrounding bamboo grove of 250 acres.
With this patient and natural expansion, the project describes a true ecological approach to growth, which leaves no harm on the surrounding environment nor on the building material itself and is therefore a counter-movement to a conventional way of the present construction process.