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Prelude: the future of structural bamboo

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Sharma, B 
Gatoo, A 
Konstantatou, Marina  ORCID logo
Reynolds, T 


Prelude demonstrates the possibilities for engineered bamboo in structural applications. Our pavilion is composed of a spiral pathway that cantilevers from the base and embodies the function of the Muziekgebouw through a lightweight design that mirrors a musical prelude in structure, concept and form. Inspired by Guastavino´s masonry vaults, the structure evokes the image of a spiral staircase originally constructed from thin tiles, transformed in a novel material with properties distinct from structural masonry. With a growing need for the development of sustainable materials, engineered bamboo combines the benefits of a natural fibre composite with the advantages of a laminated material. Highly renewable, large diameter bamboo used for structural applications is harvested every 4-5 years. Once harvested, the raw material can be processed into strips, which are then laminated into a board product. The processing reduces inherent geometric and mechanical variability of the natural material that currently limit the application of bamboo products. Currently promoted as a decorative material, Prelude is an example of the potential use of engineered bamboo beyond surface applications in architecture.



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International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures

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Leverhulme Trust (RP2013-SL-008)