Building A Bamboo Bird House

BAMBOO U - Bird House by Jesslyn Hong

Follow the journey of crafting a bamboo bird house from scratch in just 4 days during the Bamboo U Build and Design Course.

During the 11 Day Bamboo Build and Design Course in Bali we dedicate the second part of the course for students to either immerse in a full-scale bamboo structure or to work with master carpenters and a resident designer to fulfill a prototype for a small-scale bamboo object or furniture piece. In so doing, it is our aim that working hands-on with bamboo will give students a deeper understanding of bamboo as a building material.

Last July 2022 Jeslynn joined us from Malaysia to immerse in bamboo education and building for 2 weeks. In the second part of the course, she worked on a design for a bamboo bird house for a Bali starling rehabilitation sanctuary based in Besikalung, Bali.

Design Idea, Concept and Inspiration

The idea of building a birdhouse came about when I was traveling in Bali and I was on a journey to collaborate with a wildlife foundation, FNFP which is also working with the rehabilitation of a critically endangered songbird. As I was about to take on the bamboo course with Bamboo U, I wanted to use this opportunity to create something out of bamboo that can be potentially beneficial to help out in the area of conservation. Thus, the birth of the birdhouse idea.

Inspired by nature, the form of the birdhouse was derived from the form of a morning dew drop, representing a drop of hope. The aim of the project was also meant to inspire more locals to create their own birdhouses instead of using bird cages in their homes to keep birds as pets (one of the many reasons why the number of wild songbirds is declining in Bali). With the knowledge I have developed from the Bamboo U course and the help of the carpenters on site, this project was also a great exploration of what bamboo can offer in the field of conservation in the future.

BAMBOO U - Bird House by Jesslyn Hong Development Process

Crafting The Bird House

The materials used included bamboo bono, laminated Gigantochloa apus splits and pins, Bambusa blumeana, and Phyllostachys aurea. The main form of the dew shape was created by laminating splits together using epoxy glue and sawdust. As the birdhouse will be used mainly in an outdoor setting where the structure will be exposed to rain and sun, the exterior of the birdhouse is crucial to prevent water from entering the birdhouse. Hence, the horizontal exterior claddings were created with splits, glue, and sawdust. The front and back panels were created also using laminated splits that were cut to shape using a jigsaw. Lastly, the final structure was varnished using linseed oil, a natural organic which is not hazardous to the birds.

BAMBOO U - Working Process of Bird House

Challenges and Learnings

The most challenging part of the project was to make sure the form remained proportional throughout the building process, whilst cutting the exterior cladding to form the roof at the top so that the splits do not come off. The most rewarding part is definitely seeing the structure as its final finished product. Thanks to the Bamboo U Course, I can confidently pursue any of my own bamboo projects in the future.

BAMBOO U - Bird House Presentation in Detail by Jesslyn Hong BAMBOO U - Bird House in Closer Look

BAMBOO U - Bird House Installation in Sanctuary

BAMBOO U - Bird at Wild Shot by Jesslyn Hong

BAMBOO U - The Bird House at The Tree

BAMBOO U - Jesslyn Hong
About the author
Jeslynn Hong | Creative Designer and Wildlife Photographer

A creative designer and a wildlife photographer with a passion for green design and eco-build. She is currently on a mission to travel the world to document endangered wildlife by giving them the voice through photography.

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