Mankind has learned over centuries to build very efficiently according to local laws of nature just as plants & animals have themselves Adapted their habitat and genes to maximise their Efficiency in their use of energy, protecting themselves and insuring the flourishing of their species. But also, which has gotten too often lost, we’ve forgotten how to live in symbiosis and Poetry with nature.
Adaptability (Tectonic efficiency)
The Teahouse on Clear Water Mountain sits on the edge of a slope at 700 m altitude. It utilises the Bamboo plant, a building material used in South Asia for thousands of years.
Most Bamboo reaches a height of up to 6 meters within a year. Its slender trunks can bend extremely to withstand very intense speed of wind (Typhoon). It can be bent as we’ve done to minimise resistance to the winds and channel rain down the hillside. It can be cut in half to create a natural roof tiling layer that shelters the teahouse from water and sun. All joints are tied using simple metal strings. That makes it a very cheap material (the tea house having cost 7000 Euro) and one that is quick to erect (overall 1 month construction phase).
Energy efficiency (Sustainability)
Bamboo is readily available and grows in Taiwan to full height within a year. They then will have reached their ideal strength and flexibility to be used as a building material. It is traditionally smoked to dry and resist termites and lasts as a building material for at least 5 years. That makes it a very low carbon footprint building material.
What excited us about this tea house is working in a Holistic way with nature. Using the materials found around it to create a shelter, celebrating the simplicity of drinking tea and being within nature, the sound of wind, light and sound of the river and rain. Tea ceremonies are an integral part of dBamboo Gazeboaily life within families but also add depth and meaning to social gatherings and there is great value and appreciation for the uniqueness of the herbs being prepared and served. It’s not just consumption.
Buildings are organisms that have a skin to protect, need sun and aeration. Those were carefully considered in the design of the structure and roofing.
The most fascinating evolutionary leap available to us today is our increased understanding of microbiological processes. We can learn very precisely, how species adapt in extreme weather and apply their millennial old ingenuity to architectural surfaces.
There is however first and foremost a need to respect nature. To appreciate its value for our sustainable quality of life and understand its fragility. We need to work with nature, protect it and develop an intertwined trajectory to insure our livelihood.