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Bamboo architecture: from a symbol of poverty to a symbol of sustainability

17:30 - 19:00 28 May 2013

Location: Room 101. Development Planning Unit, 34 Tavistock Square, WC1H 9EZ, London

Nomadic Museum, Mexico

Photo by ©Simon Velez

The visionary Colombian architect is the most eminent proponent of bamboo as an essential building component. He talks about his work and commitment to convert bamboo from a symbol of poverty into a symbol of sustainability.

Simón Vélez is a Colombian architect who has gained international renown for his use of bamboo as the main structural material of several buildings and bridges around the world. To date, Vélez has designed bamboo buildings in Germany, France, the United States, Brazil, Mexico, China, Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, and India.

Amongst his most famous works are: the Colombian pavilion in Expo Hanover 2000, a 2000-square-meter bamboo pavilion for ZERI (Zero Emissions Research Initiative), the Zócalo Nomadic Museum in Mexico City, and the Crosswaters Ecolodge, the first ecotourism destination in China in the forests of Nankun Shan Mountain Reserve, in the Guangdong Province. The latter is the largest project in the world to the use bamboo in a commercial project, and the first project of this scale in Asia to use bamboo as a structural element in a dwelling. The project received the American Society of Landscape Architects 2006 Analysis and Planning Award of Honor.

In December 2009 he received The Principal Prince Claus Award for his contribution to a positive interaction between culture and development.

Everyone is welcome to attend