Bamboo has been used in construction for centuries, with many examples of bamboo architecture dating back to before Neolithic times, and the oldest known bamboo structure dated around 9,500 years old.
Fast forward to the modern day, and bamboo is quickly becoming a go-to construction material for eco-friendly building projects.
Bamboo offers incredible tensile strength and flexibility while remaining sustainable and environmentally friendly, making it an ideal replacement for materials like steel and traditional lumber.
In this post, we have selected 16 of our favorite bamboo structures from around the world to showcase the immense possibilities of this incredible material.
Keep reading to see some of the finest examples of bamboo construction.
To read our guide on bamboo homes, click here.
The Green School – PT Bambu
The Green School, a massive educational facility designed and built by PT Bambu, is a true oasis of sustainability.
Nestled on the banks of the Ayung River in Sibang Kaja, Bali, the campus is surrounded by lush jungles teeming with native plants and trees that coexist with sustainable organic gardens.
The architectural design features diverse spaces, from grand multi-story communal gathering places to small, intimate classrooms.
The use of locally grown bamboo, cultivated sustainably, is implemented creatively and experimentally to showcase the architectural possibilities of this versatile material.
I actually visited this myself on a trip to Bali. We had an amazing tour and the use of bamboo to create such massive three-story buildings was incredible. The Green School integrated a lot more renewable and sustainable technology into the buildings as well, aiming for a total zero-impact to the environment.
We learned that people come from all over the world to tour it, and many kids attend the school on a daily basis. Overall, I was really impressed with how big and sturdy these bamboo structures could be.
Hair Salon – Nattapon Klinsuwan (NKWD)
For a hair salon interior, the designer Nattapon Klinsuwan of NKWD drew inspiration from the natural divisions within caves, specifically the way that rock formations like stalactites and stalagmites come together to form walls and rooms.
As part of the construction, thousands of bamboo rods were hung from the ceiling in varying lengths, some reaching to the floor, creating a partition between the shampooing and coloring areas and the main space.
Floating Tea House – HWCD Associates
The Bamboo Courtyard Teahouse, designed by HWCD Associates, is one of the most iconic bamboo structures.
The unique design features a floating structure on a lake composed of a series of cubes.
In some areas of the structure, the combination of horizontal and vertical lines created by the bamboo intensifies to create a mesmerizing perspective, evoking a deep sense of perception and sensation.
The tea house’s location on a lake adds to the serene and peaceful atmosphere, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of tea and take in the natural surroundings.
Kontum Indochine Cafe – Vo Trong Nghia
The Kontum Indochine cafe in Vietnam is another creation by legendary bamboo architect Vo Trong Nghia.
It is built with striking bamboo columns and an asymmetrical roof. The columns, which are top-heavy in shape, are a nod to the traditional fishing baskets commonly used in the region.
This cafe is located in Kontum Indochine Hotel in Vietnam and is a popular attraction, not only for the drinks and cuisine but also for those curious to see the incredible architecture.
The Wind and Water Bar – Vo Trong Nghia
The Wind and Water Bar, designed by Vo Trong Nghia, is a stunning architectural structure in the middle of a lake in the Binh Duong Province in Vietnam.
The structure is supported by a series of arches made from lengths of bamboo bound together and bent into shape.
The dome is covered with a thatched roof, creating a unique and visually striking appearance.
The bar serves as a venue for various events such as music performances, local meetings, and other gatherings.
This project was one of the first by Vo Trong Nghia to showcase the potential of bamboo as a building material.
It serves as a prime example of the architectural possibilities of bamboo and its potential for a more sustainable future.
Blooming Bamboo Home – H&P Architects
The Blooming Bamboo Home, designed by Vietnamese studio H&P Architects, is a prototype house that sits on stilts to withstand floods up to 3 meters above the ground.
The floors, walls, and roof are made with tightly packed rows of bamboo cane, which can also be propped open for increased ventilation.
According to the architects, this design provides warmth in harsh conditions and promotes ecological development and economic stability.
Gwangju Design Biennale – Kengo Kuma
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, considered one of the leading figures of the new bamboo movement by Chris Precht of Austro-Chinese practice Penda, showcased the versatility of bamboo in his installation for the Gwangju Design Biennale in South Korea.
He divided bamboo into 3cm strips to construct a curved walkway and seating structure. According to Kuma, his objective for the exhibit at the Biennale was to reconnect the human body with architecture.
Naman Retreat Restaurant – Vo Trong Nghia
The dining space, designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects and located at the Naman Retreat Resort, can accommodate up to 350 guests.
The restaurant comprises two bamboo domes and 29 conical columns that support a pitched roof.
The bar on the other hand, takes the shape of a tower with a hyperboloid shell. The structure features two types of local bamboo: Tam Vong, which is thick-skinned with a small diameter and well-suited for bending, and Luong, which is strong and tall, perfect for elevations.
Naman Retreat Conference Hall – Vo Trong Nghia
The conference hall of Naman Retreat Resort in Danang, Vietnam, was built with two types of locally sourced bamboo. Designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, the hall features a 9.5-meter-high vaulted ceiling that spans 13.5 meters wide.
Bamboo was chosen for this project because of its low cost and local availability. The hall is also glazed at both ends and boasts a bamboo side loggia
Kne Hotel – Vo Trong Nghia
The restaurant and banqueting hall of the Kne Hotel, located in Vietnam, was designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects.
The architects took inspiration from traditional Vietnamese baskets when creating the 15 conical bamboo columns that support the roof .
The roof, in turn, is made of plastic panels covered in bamboo, adding to the natural aesthetic.
Sharma Springs – IBUKU
Sharma Springs, a 750-square-meter home designed by IBUKU, is a forest retreat for the Sharma family.
The house is constructed almost entirely out of bamboo, featuring six floors and four bedrooms encased in glass.
It also includes a library and playroom that are air-conditioned. The open-air living, dining, and kitchen are located on the fourth floor, which can be accessed through a tunnel entrance.
Green Ladder Pavilion – Vo Trong Nghia
Green Ladder Pavilion, designed by Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia, is a bamboo structure that resembles a dense forest.
The pavilion was built as a temporary structure in 2016 at Sydney’s Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation Gallery to showcase the strength and capabilities of bamboo as a construction material.
The structure was carefully crafted to emulate the appearance and feel of a natural forest, with bamboo poles arranged in a way that creates a sense of depth and layers, mimicking the canopy and understory of a forest.
The pavilion was not only an architectural masterpiece but also an educational platform for visitors to experience the potential of bamboo as a sustainable construction material.
The Arc – IBUKU
The Arc, designed by architecture studio IBUKU, is an innovative and self-supporting roof made entirely out of bamboo for the gymnasium of Bali’s Green School.
The design takes inspiration from the human ribcage and how the tension from the surrounding muscles and skin supports it.
The structure comprises 14-meter-high cane arches connected by double-curved gridshells, allowing it to enclose a large area with minimal material and without the need for supporting columns, which leaves the floor underneath uninterrupted.
This structure is unprecedented in its design and engineering, showcasing the potential of bamboo as a versatile and sustainable building material.
It not only serves its functional purpose as a gymnasium roof but also serves as an architectural masterpiece.
The Bamboo Sports Hall – Chiangmai Life Architects and Construction
The Bamboo Sports Hall, designed by Chiangmai Life Architects and Construction, is a unique and sustainable building that serves as a sports hall for Thailand’s Panyaden International School.
The school is located in the rice fields on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. The structure was built using 17-meter trusses that were prefabricated on-site and lifted into position using a crane.
The open lattice design of the structure eliminates the need for air conditioning, thus reducing the building’s environmental impact.
Additionally, the architects used rope instead of steel fixings in the construction, which resulted in a building that absorbed more carbon in its materials than was emitted during its construction.
This project showcases the potential of bamboo as a sustainable and versatile building material.
The Bamboo Pavilion – Zuo Studio
The Bamboo Pavilion, designed by Taiwanese architect Zuo Studio, is a structure built to showcase the potential of bamboo as a low-carbon building material and to provide a more habitable environment for future generations.
The pavilion is located in Taichung, and its structure is formed from 320 Moso bamboo plants, which are thick and hollow rods connected by smaller interlaced Makino bamboo segments.
This pavilion demonstrates the potential of bamboo as a sustainable and durable building material, not just for temporary structures but for long-lasting buildings.
Using bamboo in construction not only reduces the carbon footprint of the building but also helps to promote local bamboo cultivation and the use of renewable resources.
Luum Temple – CO-LAB Design Office
The Luum Temple, designed by CO-LAB Design Office, is a yoga studio located in the jungles of Tulum, Mexico.
The studio comprises five parametrically designed arches woven together by a structural triangular pattern and held together by two layers of lattice.
This design allows the structure to withstand the forces of hurricanes. Using bamboo as the primary building material for this studio is a conscious choice to promote sustainability.
Bamboo is a highly renewable resource that sequesters carbon during its rapid growth cycle and has a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it an ideal building material.
CO-LAB Design Office believes that bamboo has amazing potential as a sustainable material. This studio exemplifies how bamboo can be used in construction to promote a greener future.
Final Thoughts On Bamboo Architecture
You may notice that most of these structures are currently in Asia, primarily due to the widespread local availability of bamboo in this region.
However, as we learn more about the benefits of this amazing natural resource in the west, more bamboo-based building projects will inevitably appear in Europe and the Americas before too long.
If this list of awesome examples of bamboo architecture has inspired you to investigate further, you can read our article “What Is Sustainable Bamboo Construction? (Pros And Cons)” for more information about this amazing material.