Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Letter from the Taitung Dome


With a backdrop painted by the intimidating mountains of Taiwan and facing the Pacific Ocean, the dome sits  in a perfect location, embodying the tranquility of the site. This ambitious project challenges many of the current issues in architecture: sourcing of material, sustainability and originality. Sitting on a concrete foundation, the structure, composed completely by bamboo and rope, holds up an "egg-like" shape that flows perfectly in the skyline of the site hidden, between betel nut trees and coconut trees. Interwoven strips of bamboo cover the structure from the sunlight and natural conditions.


For the last 4 months we have been working on covering this woven bamboo shell with a waterproof layer that would allow complete protection from the elements. This hasn't been an easy job; the natural form of the dome has proven to be very challenging to cover, especially with a material like tar paper that doesn't easily adapt to the curvature of the facade. The irregularity of the bamboo woven exterior didn't allow for much of smooth surface. After a great deal of research and debate we decided that the best material to waterproof the dome was tar-paper, other solutions like canvas and fiberglass ended up being either too expensive or unfeasible.


The next step is to complete the outer basket shell of bamboo and let nature spread itself over the dome integrating it fully in the ecosystem of the site.


As an upcoming architect this project has not drained the passion away like most jobs do at the start of your career, it does the complete opposite it fills you with enthusiasm.

Neville De Sá



The Taitung Dome is an organic one-family shelter made out of bamboo. Under construction. Location: Dulan, Taiwan. Neville De Sá has been representing C-LAB on the construction site as an internship architecture student and case officer. 

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