Bamboo House Design for Temporary Shelter in Nepal

A team of architects used metal sheets and bamboo to build this prototype shelter for victims of the Nepal earthquake, and have also produced a manual so that the design can be replicated by others.

Their aim was to design a structure that can be constructed by anyone. By simply downloading a set of illustrated instructions from the internet, a team of workers could potentially build a variety of different structures using cheap and locally available materials.

"One of the obstacles faced by disaster relief agencies in Nepal is that transportation across the mountainous country is tremendously difficult. "Many of the road surfaces are not paved properly and are too narrow for trucks with heavy loads." explained Charles Lai from Hong Kong who together with Takehiko Suzuki from Tokyo, and Hong Kong based practice AONA, completed a prototype.

The two architects initiated an architectural relief organization, Architecture for the Mass, in April 2015 in response to the Nepal Earthquake.

As a result of the devastating earthquake, many families who lost their homes have built temporary shelters by themselves. These structures are often fragile and the space is uncomfortable without proper floors and walls. The mud bricks they use are not earthquake resistant, and dangerous because of their weight. When the monsoon season comes, the heavy rain water can easily come inside. The cost of an  190-square-foot shelter is around US$500. The bamboo structural frame could be appropriated into different sizes depending on the function of the structure. Charles and Takehiko anticipate the prototype to provide an alternative solution for temporary shelters in Nepal. The local can assimilate the design of the prototype and produce evolved designs based on its principle. The aim is to equip general households with the tools and methods to erect their own temporary structures. Potentially, the design can empower the local community to establish a self-help network among themselves and speedup the recovery from the disaster. To donate to the Nepal disaster relief, click here