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Sen Village Community Center: A Bamboo Structure near Ho Chi Minh City

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Being approximately 20km apart from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Sen Village is a recently built residential area with 2,200 houses. At the heart of this area is Sen Village Community Center with the capacity of 250 people.

The building, designed and built by VTN Architects, was designed by using bamboo and thatch. The building has a simple umbrella-like structure which consists of 28 pure bamboo frame units. The each frame forms an arch shape, creating a large circular hall with a diameter of 22m when it gathers.

Sen Village Community Center | VTN Architects
Sen Village Community Center

The hall is used by citizens of Sen Village for various activities such as parties, banquets, exhibitions, and music performances. Periphery of the hall consists of 4-meter-wide terrace and a function volume which contains some private rooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and a small office.

The Design

A thatched roof, pierced with an overhead oculus achieving a 30-meter diameter, overhangs a central space that requires no artificial lighting. This skylight also functions to discharge hot air from the top of the roof as the breeze cooled by the adjacent pool makes its way through the building.

These passive design methods, consistent with VTN Architects Green Architecture strategy, contribute to reducing energy consumption and ensure that the design does not need air conditioning despite its tropical climate. The periphery of the hall consists of 4-meter-wide terrace, and an ancillary volume that contains more private areas, restrooms, a kitchen and a small office.

Green Architecture Accomplished with Bamboo

"I think bamboo and laminated bamboo will replace other materials and become the 'green steel' of the 21st century," said Nghia, founder of VTN Architects. "I hope many architects realize the potential of the material and build with bamboo more and more." He learned about its properties first hand when he was a child. "Traditionally, bamboo is used in Vietnam to create baskets, tableware and furniture," he said. "When I was young, I helped my family to make bamboo tableware."

Bamboo, which is an extremely fast-growing species of giant grass, grows abundantly, quickly and cheaply in Vietnam, where canes cost as little as a dollar each.

VTN Architects has completed several projects using bamboo, mostly in his native Vietnam, some in China. They range from bars, cafes, pavilions and restaurants where bamboo is used structurally to form arches and domes, to a proposal to solve Vietnam's housing crisis with cheap, steel-framed homes clad in bamboo.

See more photos of Sen Village Community Center.

Also see Bamboo Architecture.

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