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Buoyant vernacular architecture made of bamboo

With the help of the Holcim, three young Indonesian architects re-adapted buoyant vernacular architecture, using bamboo.

The aim of the project was to address the challenge of sustaining water-related vernacular architecture in Indonesia, using local materials and expertise. While studying at Universitas Katolik Parahyangan in Bandung, Indonesia, Nicholas Rodriques, Rionaldi Gunari, and Gani Wiratama examined how upgrading vernacular architecture can make an impact on improving the quality of life across communities.

Their first proposal was a floating amenity block that treated wastewater via a plant-based filtration system. From there, they developed a floating construction inspired by vernacular buoyant structures in Jatiluhur Reservoir, West Java, where an existing community in Purwakarta lives on the water.

Continuing their research, a second prototype followed, using feedback from the local community and experience from the previous one. For instance, the high and open roofline of the first structure did not provide adequate shelter for rain or sun, so the roofline of the second one was adjusted. The building size was too large to be constructed in one piece and moved onto the lake, so a modular approach was used that adapted the design into a series of components. In addition, the first prototype was mainly made from bamboo, which started to rot from contact with water. In the second prototype, the bamboo was left to dry longer and treated with a chemical.

The first structure functions as a fishing tourism centre and the second one as a community hub.

Photos: Holcim