Celebrating sustainable bamboo

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The central pavilion at the CAMBOO Festival in Freedom Park. Eliah Lillis

Celebrating sustainable bamboo

Through the weekend, Freedom Park will be showcasing examples of sustainable design, local crafts, art and concerts, in a first-time festival dedicated principally to bamboo and its use in construction.

Hosted by Building Trust International, a United Kingdom-based NGO working to promote sustainable development, CAMBOO Festival will highlight sustainable construction materials and practices. Bamboo pavilions, designed and built by the students from six engineering and architecture universities in Phnom Penh, will be on display.

David Cole, the director of BTI, says the idea of the festival emerged from his organisation’s original goal to draw the interest of young Cambodian designers, engineers and architects in using sustainable materials.

“We contacted the universities and asked if we could train the students in using bamboo,” Cole said. “Then we realised that the best way to do that would be to get in touch with the actual projects. We also felt that it was a great way to celebrate both the use of natural materials and Cambodia’s natural environment.”

For the last two months, the students have been taught how to use bamboo for building at BTI’s centre in Takhmao, where the material’s potential is being demonstrated in a country where it is generally considered as a short-lived substance for making chopsticks and baskets.

“When I started working with bamboo about five years ago, I was surprised by how useful this material is,” Cole said. “It has been used in modern ways in countries such as Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand. I think Cambodia is one of those countries which begins to exploit the potential of this material”

Among the showcased structures is the Hyperbamboo, the centre pavilion chosen as the winning design of BTI’s CAMBOO Design Challenge, an international competition involving designers all over the world. Selected from 70 entries, it is produced by the team of Roberto Bologna, Fernando Barth, Chiara Moretti and Denny Pagliai from Florence, Italy. Designs from BTI’s projects over the past five years, such as a bamboo school building in Takeo province, will also be displayed.

In addition to seeing a wide range of unique designs, attendees will be able to engage in activities like building workshops, meditation, salsa classes and live music, from bands like the Cambodian Space Project, Hypnotic Fist Technique and Oscar’s house band Khmenglish.

Visitors can also purchase from “eco-stalls”, which sell local natural products such as Mondulkiri honey, as well as food and drinks from BTI’s partners like Farm to Table, La Familia and La Pops!

Though he speculates that most attendees will be students and people working in art, design and modern architecture, he hopes that professionals from all walks of life will come to the festival to get a glimpse of local craftsmanship and to encourage the designers and architects of the future towork with sustainable material.

The CAMBOO Festival will be open to the public with free admission from tonight until April 1 from10am-9pm, at Freedom Park on Street 53.

MOST VIEWED

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Archeologists find ancient phallic statue

    An archeological team has found a metre-long tipless stone linga (penis) of the Hindu deity Shiva in the foundations of a temple in Kratie province’s historical Samphu Borak area, a former capital of the pre-Angkor Empire Chenla period. Thuy Chanthourn, the deputy director of

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police