Lightweight, sustainable materials. Are there limits?

In topic: Architecture

Lightweight materials are a sustainable choice for architecture. But are there limits in creativity? Ibuku architects believe that there are not and their Arc in the Green School of Bali is there to prove it.

The Arc is the newest sustainable building on campus at the world renowned Green School in Bali. A totally unprecedented structure, a completely original design. The Arc comprises of intersecting bamboo arches, 14 meter tall. What holds the whole structure together are the gridshells that curve in two opposite directions. They are of key importance to the strength and stability of the Arc. Months of research and development and fine tuning of numerous tailor-made details ended up to this final result.

Expanding horizons in architecture and design

Bamboo is a durable and sustainable material used for centuries in the various regions of Asia. In the case of the Arc, design firm Ibuku has managed to prove that it can be a highly creative material with which architects can give form to contemporary ideas and projects. Ibuku has put together the intricate bamboo structure by employing one of the greatest strategies we can find in nature. The Arc achieves geometric strength, while generating a massive volume that still manages to appear lightweight. The roof appears to drape between the arches of the Arc, as if it was made of fabric. The forces of geometry and physics bring the structure into a state of equilibrium, so there is a dramatically decreased need for structural material.

Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular in architecture and design projects, thanks to its impressive versatility and its sustainable qualities. Plus it has a higher compressive strength than concrete or wood. This is a really important attribute as structures in bamboo are resistant to natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes. Common and affordable, bamboo is likely to become the “green steel” of the 21st century -at least for certain areas of the globe, where there is a pressing and constantly increasing need for sustainable housing.

02 / 02 / 2022