Popular Vietnamese architect Võ Trọng Nghĩa has joined the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale with an outdoor sculpture made of bamboo.
The structure can serve as a communal space and its fragile structure means it can be installed anywhere. Photo designboom.com
Named “Bamboo Stalactite”, the sculpture is made of 11 softly cut triangular columns forming an impressive bamboo structure, which serves as a resting area. Each of the columns consists of pillars and arches in hyperbolic form. Majority of the structure was prepared in Việt Nam before being carried to Venice for completion. As many as 8 workers completed the structure within 25 days in May under the guidance of Vietnamese and Italian architects.
Nghĩa designed the iconic sculpture to be made entirely out of bamboo, his favorite construction material, demonstrating the exceptional aesthetic and technical results that can be achieved using the medium.
The dense bamboo mesh of the pavilion canopy provides an effective shading effect which, together with a number of orange lounge chairs, helps create a pleasant and relaxing “free space” overlooking the Venetian Arsenal’s water basin.
Nghĩa’s pavilion is composed of a sequence of “vaults” made by bending and assembling a large number of bamboo stalks, firmly bound together using only natural fiber strings and ropes. Though lightweight and airy, the pavilion actually resembles a sort of protective and welcoming cavern marked by a number of wooden “stalactites” running from the floor all the way to the ceiling.
“The fragility of bamboo has helped create varied architectural spaces, creating a link with the beauty of nature, light, wind, and the sea,” Nghĩa said. “This is why ‘Bamboo Stalactite’ has easily become a landmark, even in such a small space.”
Structurally, the construction resembles other larger works of Nghĩa, such as the Ting Xi Bamboo Restaurant in China and the Castaway Island Resort in Việt Nam. However, the Bamboo Stalactite pavilion is possibly even more iconic in its simplicity.
The structure can also serve as a communal space and its fragile structure means it can be installed anywhere, in both rural and urban areas.
The theme of the Biennale Architecture 2018 is “Freespace”, which according to the event’s website is meant to describe a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda.
"With the theme of Freespace, the Biennale Architettura 2018 presents for public scrutiny examples, proposals, elements – built or unbuilt – of work that exemplifies essential qualities of architecture which include the modulation, richness, and materiality of surface, the orchestration and sequencing of movement, revealing the embodied power and beauty of architecture," the site says.
The event, which runs until November 25, gathers dozens of participants from all over the world.
Nghĩa has received numerous international prizes and honours, including the World Architecture Festival Award, the ARCASIA award, the WAN 21 for 21 Award, and the FuturArc Green Leadership Award, among others. In 2012, he was named Architect of the Year in Việt Nam. — VNS