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Grow Your Own House: Simone Velez and Bamboo Architecture [Paperback]

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Item description for Grow Your Own House: Simone Velez and Bamboo Architecture by Simon Velez, Jean Dethier & Klaus Steffens...

Bamboo, which has been used as building material for centuries and is widely available (35 million acres worldwide are covered in bamboo), is being rediscovered today. Its cost-effectiveness and ability to endure adverse environmental forces make it one of the preeminent construction materials on the planet. Bamboo's unique aesthetic appearance has been exploited in design and furniture building. The highly visual and engaging Grow Your Own House will open your eyes to the beauty and lightness of bamboo structures and designs. Bamboo--a widely available and renewable resource almost as strong as steel, yet very light--lends itself to architectural experiments. Buckminster Fuller, Frei Otto, Renzo Piano, Shoei Yoh, and Arata Isozaki are a few of the millions of people worldwide using bamboo to create space and structure around them. Author and architect Simn Vlez pioneered bamboo construction in his home country of Colombia. His most recent and spectacular project, which is prominently featured in Grow Your Own House, is the Expo 2000 pavilion for the ZERI Foundation. At over 120 feet in diameter and over 50 feet high, it is one of the largest bamboo structures in the world. Grow Your Own House includes all the latest trends of this cutting-edge revival. The integration of the seeming dichotomies of high-tech and sustainability, global thinking and regional traditions definitely makes the future look brighter. This lavishly and colorfully illustrated volume is published in dual languages (German and English). Contributors to this volume include Jean Dethier, Walter Liese, Eda Schaur, Frei Otto, and Mateo Kries.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   265
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 9" Height: 11.25"
Weight:   2.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Vitra Design Museum
ISBN  3931936252  
ISBN13  9783931936259  

Availability  0 units.

More About Simon Velez, Jean Dethier & Klaus Steffens

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marcelo Villegas is the author of Villegas' book, "Tropical Bamboo,"
Simon Velez conducts workshops on the structural use of natural materials for construction in Colombia and abroad.
Ximena Londono, a specialist in taxonomic botany of the American bamboo, has worked for the Natural History Museum at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Jean Dethier is a practicing architect and an advisor to the Department of Architecture at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris.
The Japanese architect Shigeru Ban designed the all-bamboo Japanese Pavillion at Expo-Hanover 2000.
Frey Otto, the author of books on the structural values of bamboo, lives in Germany.

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Product Categories

1Books > Foreign Language Books > German > All German Books
2Books > Foreign Language Books > German > Arts & Photography
3Books > Foreign Language Books > German > Nonfiction
4Books > Foreign Language Books > German > Professional & Technical
5Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Home Design > Design & Construction
6Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > Home Design > General
7Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Architects, A-Z > General
8Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Building Types & Styles > Residential
9Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Building Types & Styles > Specific Styles
10Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Drawing & Modelling > General
11Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > General
12Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Architecture > Study & Teaching

Reviews - What do customers think about Grow Your Own House: Simone Velez and Bamboo Architecture?

You Can't Grow Your Own House!  Aug 4, 2007
A deceiving, gimmicky title that doesn't measure up to the book's contents.

Lots of color pictures of absolutely huge bamboo community structures (NOT houses!) that basically all look the same. There's hardly any variety - just huge bamboo roofs suspended on bamboo stilts designed by the book's author.

I bought the book because it mentions "House" in the title but it hardly has any "houses" in it... maybe photo's of 3 bamboo houses in total.

The book is written in German text with an English translation printed alongside... so half of each text page is taken up with the German text.

The book shows a few pictures of bamboo joints made by filling the ends with concrete and embedded bolts secured to metal joints. It doesn't tell you where to buy those joints because they are custom made.

That was the most useful information found in the book from my perspective.

So... I'm still looking for a book about bamboo houses!
bamboo manifesto  Apr 7, 2001
There are many fantastic images of bamboo design and architecture, which is being taken to the next level by Velez and others. With population growth and environmental crises what they are, bamboo may emerge as a key building material worldwide. Velez's mushroom dome for the Hannover Expo 2000 was a gorgeous massive structure in bamboo that established bamboo use in large-scale architectural projects.

However magnificent it is, the pavilion-as-statement suffers from its own pagoda poetry. The main block to widespread adoption of bamboo is its low-tech image, in both the developing and developed worlds. This low-tech, low-status image is why Colombians continue to build inferior concrete buildings, even after such structures are decimated by earthquakes (while leaving the bamboo buildings standing). The pagoda image reinforces associations with the past and low-tech traditional construction.

To move bamboo forward as a workaday modern building material, it needs to be used in a more ordinary International Style residential or office high-rise that successfully embodies the myth of hi-tech modernity. Wrapped in a glass and metal skin, this bamboo wolf-in-sheep's clothing would bare its fangs when asking Buckminster Fuller's (and Velez's) key question: "Gentlemen, what do your buildings weigh?." Unfortunately, "modernism" is a filthy word for Velez. Mexico's Luis Barragan created a new architecture by successfully fusing colloquial Mexican style with International Style - it will be interesting to see if Velez or one of his students can do something similar for high-tech bamboo construction.

The book is surprisingly thin on detailed treatment of Velez's own work. Would like to have seen more on the Luis Salazar residence, because its smaller scale and middle-class prestige make it more relevant to implementing the bamboo manifesto than the showy ZERI pavilion.

Whole double-page spreads are dedicated to suggestive connections between the bamboo forms and the work of other architects. But the book is relatively thin on diagrams on the types of bamboo joints, integration of bamboo with CAD, data on load bearing (compared with reinforced concrete for example) and other information outlining more precisely how to bring bamboo into the arsenal of modern construction.

That said, it is the best recent book to state the bamboo mainfesto of strength, versatility and modular nature of bamboo. If you have any interest in environmentally sound design, this is THE coffeetable book to have, but

...why wasn't it printed on bamboo paper?


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