Bamboo pavilion uses innovative construction technique

Part of the Rencontres d’Arles festival, CONTEMPLATION is a hybrid initiative combining photography, architecture, and music.

Photographs by Buddhist monk and thinker Matthieu Ricard are displayed in a setting especially conceived for the project: a unique 1,000 square metre pavilion made of bamboo. Colombian architect Simón Vélez (renowned particularly for his participation in the 2016 Venice Biennale) and his associate Stefana Simic, designed the monumental installation which is located on the banks of the Rhône.

The architecture of the Pavilion is inspired by malocas, ancestral long houses used by the natives of the Amazon. Malocas represent their habitants’ link to nature, which is sacred to them. By embracing this ancient concept, Simón Vélez puts spirituality in the heart of his project.

Guadua bamboo is the most abundant renewable forest resource in Colombia. Thirty five years ago, Simón Vélez discovered this very simple construction technique consisting of filling the bamboo chambers with cement mortar up to their structural intersections. Because of this discovery, bamboo becomes a true ‘vegetal steel’, allowing the architect to create buildings as big as the ones usually built using wood or steel.

The exhibition will run until 23rd September. Click here to find out more.