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Growing a community

Buildings are created for people. Skyscrapers are inhabited by communities. How can we grow a community?

Bamboo as building material and conversation piece

People and material first, then the building. We envision a building as the opposite of the tower of Babel. That building did not succeed because the people who had to build it, were misunderstanding each other. Our idea is to first grow bamboo on the plot. The rapid grow of the plants provide a continuous supply of building material in a sustainable way. Then let the potential inhabitants help cutting the bamboo. This can strengthen the human interactions and grow a community. Constructing the building by making use of advanced techniques will deliver an advanced skyscraper with a tight-knit community. 

Three layers of landscaping

Public landscaping: a collective entrance area. Here the existing garden with trees is connected to the new bamboo garden, the entrances to the apartments, offices, the hotel and recreation.
Semi public landscaping: a collective recreation deck with sport and hospitality facilities for the hotel, office and apartments at mid-level.
Private landscaping: a collective garden for the apartments on the roof.

Technique and efficiency

Advanced design techniques: efficient facade by creating minimal surface.
Advanced building techniques: freedom in shape integration of structure and furniture by using advanced 3d printing technology.

Minimal surface

The shape is a result of designing the most efficient volume related to the site, sun and construction forces. It is also chosen for its organic growing appearance and node like top (which you also find in bamboo). This tower challenges the monotonous rectilinear metallic skyline of the city by bringing in an unexpected shape and a new material from bottom to top: bamboo. The tightly wrapped body of the tower not only portrays how firmly a bamboo structure could be, but also manifests a ‘minimal surface’, covering a functioning building. This is a relaxed surface between bottom and top plans, free of internal tensions because of a mean curvature of zero. This relaxed surface, however, is realized as a triangulated mesh of bamboo-laminated bars, carefully mapped onto the minimal surface to match the floor levels. 

Sustainable solution

Bamboo could simply be a sustainable solution to meet the growing demand for wood and yet it is not known properly as a structural material as many have an image of a thin pipe of bamboo. We started with the structure of bamboo itself and the idea of a tent covering the whole tower. Using computational modeling algorithms in McNeel's Rhinoceros and Grasshopper, we shaped a minimal surface between a curve on the ground relating to the geometry of the ground and the outline of a simple box on the top containing luxury apartments. The same technique is used for the internal structural core. Moreover, considering the tropical climatic situation in Singapore, using bamboo in the facade enables the bamboo to function as shades that improve the thermal performance of the building.


Location Singapore, Asia


Year 2015 

Status Competition

Program Mixed use


Team Liong Lie, Samaneh Rezvani

Collaborators EcoSCAPE - Robin Lock


Liong Lie architects Bamboo Skyscraper interior apartment