Vo Trong Nghia
Given VTN’s campaign for the integration of trees into each piece of architecture; their confidence in the positive effect of trees on human beings; their belief in making architecture for the poor and not just for the rich minority in the world; and their use of ecologically economical materials – their work exemplifies numerous values expressed in our manifesto, in particular the consideration of “the Earth as Client”.
The drawings for the structure of the Bamboo Stalactite are mesmerisingly beautiful especially their drawings of the plan. They appear like steel reinforcement drawings for a concrete tensile roof, which of course coincides with Vo Trong Nghia’s description of bamboo being the “green steel of the 21st century”.
The term stalactite is intriguing and suggests that this structure was conceived as hanging from the sky, just touching the ground at points so as not to fly away. The manner in which the bamboo is worked, bent and tied creates an amazing independent strength, needing only to be anchored. Transported to Venice from Vietnam this cultural visitor stands proudly by the water, lending the shade of its dappled light, posing like a light-footed dancer, adding a sense of theatre to this apron of industrial ground. It is a wonderful symbol of an optimistic future in architecture.