Studio Tutors: Rob Brown, Carly Martin + Jed Long
2017 | ARCH 7111 Design Studio 1
UNSW Masters of Architecture Program Architecture + Design
This is real life project for RAW Impact (Raising Awareness Worldwide) an Australian nongovernmentalorganisation (NGO) working in Cambodia, sited near the Mekong River outside of Phnom Penh. The RAW Impact organization seeks to ‘raise awareness worldwide’ by creating powerful change through sustainable projects in Cambodia. This is done by teams of volunteers from high schools, universities and corporate businesses assisting the poorest rural communities by hands on building projects including schools, community buildings, housing as well as providing education for teachers, agricultural projects health, sanitation and water resources.
With the rapidly expanding city of Phnom Penh outlying villages are being engulfed as suburbs of the city, many of these villages on the outskirts of the city are slums whose occupants do not own the land they live on. The government policy is to relocate these slum dwellers to a distant agricultural part of the country as part of any redevelopment of the city surrounds. RAW has built a school and individual housing for these slum dwellers to date. In these buildings, RAW has increasingly been looking to use bamboo, which has the potential to be an affordable, sustainable building material for their projects.
Cambodia is home to some of Southeast Asia’s oldest forests, and is losing them through illegal clearing at a rate of 2000 square kilometres every year. This deforestation has seen Cambodia’s rainforest cover decrease from 70% in 1970 to 3% today. Bamboo is a strong, versatile building material that has the potential to largely replace timber products in the construction industry, particularly in Cambodia. RAW is currently sourcing their bamboo externally, but as the growth cycle of bamboo is very short (only a few years), RAW wants to grow and process all their own bamboo. This will also help to reduce costs for their construction projects, allowing them to help even more people. In order to do this, RAW will need to construct a bamboo workshop and factory, which will allow them to process the bamboo to use in construction.
For this project, students will need to develop a comprehensive understanding of the process of planting, growing, harvesting and processing bamboo. It is through this knowledge that the brief for the bamboo workshop will be developed. Students will be asked in groups to develop a comprehensive flow chart for understanding the processing of bamboo.
The workshop/factory building is to be built using mainly bamboo, but students may also choose to use supplementary materials in their design. In addition to this, students will be required to design and build a piece of bamboo furniture or an item which could be produced in their bamboo factory.
Awards: Renzo Piano Award in Architecture