Housing NOW by Blue Temple – an affordable housing initiative constructed with bamboo in Myanmar

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Housing NOW
Bamboo playground in the French School of Yangon

Blue Temple launched the Housing NOW project in 2019. The proposed architectural project is a housing typology that has been realized in a series of completed structures. As a result, the project presents a variety of manifestations of the same housing typology.

Blue Temple investigates the wonders of bamboo design and construction, actively participating in the transition from a vernacular to an engineered construction technique.

Housing NOW

Tiny bamboo is an untapped, abundant, and cost-effective resource among all existing bamboo species available on the local market. The cost of a single unit can be reduced to that of a smartphone by utilizing this resource to build houses. Blue Temple refined and mastered the design over three years of research; the findings have since been published in a series of academic papers on small-diameter bundle bamboo low-cost construction.

The structure is made up of interlocking small-diameter bundled bamboo structural frames that were prefabricated in the organization’s bamboo workshop in Bago, a city north of Yangon. The frames are then shipped to the site of implementation and assembled in collaboration with the local community. This construction methodology reduces the time required to build a single housing unit to one week, while also providing an effective response to emergency housing needs in remote areas of the country.

Housing NOW
Sport court
Bamboo grid shell structure

The construction of finishes, including walls, floors, and ceilings, is done in collaboration with the local community, with Blue Temple employing and training members of the community during the construction of their own homes. As a result, the organization has been able to establish a network of trained workers from vulnerable communities to serve as a deployable task force. This long-term collaborative approach generates new job opportunities for workers, who can then support their families.

Nearly 2 million people have been internally displaced in Myanmar since the military coup in February 2021. As a result, Blue Temple‘s architecture design studio is seeking funding to scale up the production of low-cost bamboo housing for refugees in Myanmar’s slums. Blue Temple is currently scaling production to increase housing access in vulnerable communities after three years of research, prototyping, and piloting. All forms of assistance are greatly appreciated.

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