A Tsunami Ruin

Student Name: Lisa Jehle

Nationality: German

Age: 29 Years old

Studies: Masters Degree Architecture and Urban Planning, Stuttgart University.

Project: A Tsunami Ruin in Sri Lanka

Course: Bamboo U Online Immersion February 2021

During my master‘s thesis I designed a large bamboo school building in Myanmar for an NGO with bamboo as the primary building material. This project enabled me to be creative with bamboo for the first time and it really was a revelation for me in the wonders of bamboo as a building material.

The bamboo design process, with the freedom to express using organic shapes that this building material offered, opened up unimagined possibilities. It showed me that architecture doesn‘t always have to be a strict and minimalistic concrete design ( which is how I designed during my years at University). The bamboo design allows for more freedom and considers humanity as part of the natural ecosystem rather than apart from it. Now I spend my energy promoting the use of bamboo to encourage others to be conscious of how they build and how what they build affects the planet.

I was initially interested in joining a Bamboo U course in Bali, but with Covid 19 affecting travel, I joined the Bamboo U Online Immersion instead. After my experience in Myanmar, I felt like I needed to learn about bamboo construction from professionals. The online bamboo course helped me understand bamboo as a building material. This course covered more than I expected and I am now able to share the potential of this natural building material with others more confidently.

I have been working in Sri Lanka since March 2021 and am committed to developing a sustainable bamboo supply chain here. While I‘m working on the larger vision for this project, I design small bamboo buildings that showcase the potential of this natural material with the hope of raising public awareness of the use of bamboo as a building material.

Concept Sketches

During the Bamboo U Online Immersion, I worked on creating a bamboo model for a tsunami ruin in Sri Lanka. The ruin is being converted into a restaurant. The concept is based on preserving most of the parts of the ruin and using the ruin as part of the story of the structure. The concept sketch embraces the ruin and at the same time leaves room for it as a memorial.

A significant change in the material was necessary to show the distinction between the old stone walls and what is newly added, so due to it being lightweight and flexible, bamboo seemed to be the perfect material to juxtapose the ruin without overshadowing it.

Concept Models

During this stage of the design process, I developed a few bamboo models with the structure that floats over the existing ruin. I designed an organic structure to take advantage of the bending properties of bamboo. However, in the final model, I adjusted this design to make use of straight poles due to the constraints presented by the bamboo that I have available. In the final structure, straight bamboo poles hold up a nicely shaped organic roof.

Joinery details

Developed design structural Model

In module 5 of the Bamboo U Online Immersion students have the opportunity to work on their own projects and develop their ideas from concept to structural model with the guidance of the Bamboo U Team. Have a look at our upcoming bamboo u online immersion here:

Online Immersion

Lisa Jehle
About the author
Lisa Jehle | Architect

During her master‘s thesis, Lisa designed a large bamboo school building in Myanmar for an NGO with bamboo as the primary building material. This project enabled her to be creative with bamboo for the first time and it really was a revelation for her in the wonders of bamboo as a building material.

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