Designing A Bamboo Pavilion Inspired By Asian Bamboo Scaffolding
By Bea Valdes | August 9, 2022 | Alumni -
Follow Bea Valdes’ story of designing a bamboo pavilion inspired by vernacular architecture from the Philippines and traditional scaffolding during the Bamboo U Online Course
I am Bea Valdes, a designer with a Manila Based workshop that specializes in beadwork and embroidery. We create pieces that range from unique jewelry & accessories to bespoke clothing to large-scale public artworks, always with a focus on the craft of the hand.
The idea of being able to learn about a single material, Bamboo, literally from the ground up was what motivated me to join the Bamboo U Online Course. As a designer, there is a constant search for the meaningful relationships between objects and their makers, their menders, their minders- the human stories as told through the manipulation of materials, and through gestures of design.
Each module of the Bamboo U Online Course in itself is a starting point for further discoveries. To learn that the quality of what we build is connected to how the farmers nurture the soil, to the ways that bamboo plays into a larger planetary, biodiversity story, to how the generational skills and the wisdom of local craftsmen coupled with computational analysis of today’s technology can open up such broad options for design strategies, to how every aspect links to the next - this was the bounty that we discovered throughout the 11 weeks. The insights from this holistic approach guided me towards an inquiry of bamboo’s context in my local setting.
The Bamboo Building Concept
The pavilion is imagined to be on a hilltop beach property overlooking the sea. It is approximately 14 meters by 14 meters, on an existing concrete foundation. Our intentions are to create a space for special events- a place for intimate gatherings, to bind this particular landscape to the guest's memory- as a place of personal significance and meaning.
Next, we hope to craft responsibly, with local elements: to use bamboo; an abundant, circular material, in a manner that makes people imagine the panorama of its potential and capabilities. When considering what bamboo means in our context, a few concepts emerged. The initial inquiry was sparked by the quote, "memory is the scaffolding upon which all mental life is constructed." ~ Gerald Fischbach. This prompted a look into bamboo’s use as scaffolding in the construction of architecture, common in Asian countries. The way bamboo serves, then is dismantled, and then disappears- The concept developed as an homage to making the essential invisible, visible.
The first sketches also revealed a nod towards the transparency of traditional Philippine Capiz windows, which are made of a specie of local shell, framed in wood and always expressed in a grid pattern. We hoped to expand the idea of transparency, by allowing for spaces, by having no defined walls to allow for a mannerism of floating.
This impression of the traditional, with subtle references to familiar form, framework, and features, developed into the core idea of creating a structure articulated through a contemporary bamboo language.
The development of the structure evolved organically, through the constant guidance of Cécile Durand, our Bamboo U tutor, and enriched by the weekly sessions with global experts in a wide variety of fields like taxonomy, joinery, construction, and engineering.
A founder of a brand with two decades worth in luxury accessories, specializing in artisan work. Textile and mixed media artist specializing in public spaces both locally and internationally. Recently appointed as an editor for a fashion magazine.
November 18-29th, 2022
The 11 Day Bamboo Build & Design Course in Bali
In 11 days, we'll show you how to build bamboo structures we’ll share all that it takes to build with nature.