Wonderful bamboo: grow your own house--Simon Velez and bamboo architecture.GROW YOUR OWN HOUSE--SIMON VELEZ AND BAMBOO bamboo, plant of the family Gramineae (grass family), chiefly of warm or tropical regions, where it is sometimes an extremely important component of the vegetation. It is most abundant in the monsoon area of E Asia. ARCHITECTURE.
By Mateo Kries, Jean Dethier and others. Weilam-Rhein: Vitra Design Museum The Vitra Design Museum is an internationally renowned, privately owned museum for design in Weil am Rhein, Germany.
Vitra CEO Rolf Fehlbaum founded the museum in 1989 as an independent private foundation. with ZERI and CIRECA. 2000. [pounds sterling]19.95 (Distributed by Art Books International)
This is a feast of a book, both to read and to look at. Published by the Vitra Design Museum as a result of experimental work carried out at summer workshops in France since 1996, it is both the essential handbook about bamboo and an overview of Simon Velez's work to date. The balance between the two is subtle--Velez does not take centre-stage and overpower o·ver·pow·er
tr.v. o·ver·pow·ered, o·ver·pow·er·ing, o·ver·pow·ers
1. To overcome or vanquish by superior force; subdue.
2. To affect so strongly as to make helpless or ineffective; overwhelm.
3. the content, yet modestly hovers in the background, clearly the champion, the Calatrava, of bamboo.
The pictures, first--the book is full of magnificent photographs of bamboo in all its different shapes and forms, sometimes in its natural state, sometimes as developed by man in a myriad of ingenious ways. There are fascinating juxtapositions which compare bamboo with other natural forms. Bamboo is shown from across the world, from where it grows naturally and is a staple building material, and from colder climates where it has been imported to experiment with. There are even pictures of soaring ribbed piers and vaults in Gothic cathedrals, reminding us that of course the origins of the Gothic style must have derived from bamboo and willow construction.
The words are equally good. We are taken through all the facts and figures relating to relating to relate prep → concernant
relating to relate prep → bezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc bamboo: its history (there were bamboo houses as far back as 5550 BC to 3500 BC, and more recently, the filament filament, in astronomy: see chromosphere. in Edison's first light bulbs was bamboo), its life-cycle (prodigious pro·di·gious
1. Impressively great in size, force, or extent; enormous: a prodigious storm.
2. Extraordinary; marvelous: a prodigious talent.
3. growth statistics, with some species growing one metre each day), its uses (too numerous to list here, but around 20 million tons are harvested annually, which is equal to 8 million kilometres of cane, or 200 times the earth's circumference), its advantages over other materials, particularly when compared on environmental grounds. One is left feeling that this must be the material of the future (and tough luck for the developed West that it doesn't grow here).
But where the words are particularly good--and acerbic--is in the introductory section by Jean Dethier, Director of Architectural Exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou Centre Georges Pompidou (constructed 1971–1977 and known as the Pompidou Centre in English) is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the IVe arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles and the Marais. , and coorganizer of the workshops mentioned above. In this essay, we are introduced to Simon Velez's most important building to date (2000), the beautiful ZERI pavilion erected at the 2000 Universal Exhibition in Hanover. Dethier contrasts this exhibition with Britain's own Millennium effort as manifested at the Dome, and he doesn't mince his words, either over the Dome itself ('Mr Universe with a pea-sized brain') or over the aim of the two celebrations. At least the Hanover one had an aim--to promote the objectives of Agenda 21. But even Hanover does not escape his criticism, for most of the pavilion designers, in his opinion, misunderstood, distorted or ignored the message of sustainability. Only Shigeru Ban Shigeru Ban (坂茂, Ban Shigeru; born 1957 in Tokyo, Japan) is an accomplished Japanese and international architect, most famous for his innovative work with paper from Japan and Simon Velez (from Colombia) succeeded despite the restrictive burdens imposed by building regulations officers and engineers--to the extent that the only way the ZERI pavilion could be permitted was if a full-scale mock-up mock·up also mock-up
1. A usually full-sized scale model of a structure, used for demonstration, study, or testing.
2. A layout of printed matter. was erected and tested back in Colombia.
This, and the rest of the book, make compulsive com·pul·sive
Caused or conditioned by compulsion or obsession.
A person with behavior patterns governed by a compulsion.
the state of being subject to compulsion. reading, and even if there is not huge scope for using bamboo in Britain, we can still enjoy this lovely book.