In a move toward more sustainable building practices, the architecture firm Penda has just announced their vision for an entire city constructed from bamboo. By using interlocking horizontal and vertical rods, the modular design could be expanded in the future and would even grow more stable the larger it becomes. The green city could house a population of 200,000, and Penda believes it could be erected by 2023.
The Beijing- and Vienna-based studio knows a thing or two about the architectural potential of bamboo. Their first-ever project was a design for the sweeping “Blossom Gate” bamboo sculpture, meant to act as the entryway for a Chinese flower garden. Last year Penda released their concept for a modular bamboo hotel, and they’ve since realized that this same design can be applied to much larger structures. They unveiled their first real-life mock-up of the design at last month’s Beijing Design Week, and now they're offering a look at the concept art for the full-scale city.
Bamboo grows differently than other wood because it's actually not wood at all—it's a type of grass. The shoot is split into segments that extend like a telescope, allowing it to grow at an extremely fast rate of up to 35 inches per day. In addition to being sustainable, the material is also strong, flexible, and easily disassembled and reused. Penda plans to build the city within China's Anji county, one of the largest producers of bamboo in the world.