Iranian architect Pouya Khazaeli Parsa founded Raistudio in 2007 in order to revive what he believes is the lost spirit of architecture, a spirit his latest project seems to exemplify best of all.
Reminiscent of the work of fellow Iranian Nader Khalili, who perfected economical earth bag construction, this minimalist dome shelter is made of bamboo, crowned with rice plants and features comfortable bamboo mats that are ideal for guests who stop in for a cup of tea. Not only is this project attractive and sustainable, but its gentle resistance to wind and earthquakes makes it an excellent shelter during emergencies as well.
Bamboo is one of the most renewable building materials on earth and also one of the most flexible. Only 70 bamboo canes were used to create the frame of this dome, which was inspired by a project that one of Parsa’s students was attempting. First it is necessary to cut the bamboo and then to let it dry for two days so that it will be flexible and soft.
With only three non-professionals working on the project, the dome was constructed in one day near the forest of Katalom. The base is comprised of locally-sourced gas pipes that give the shelter optimum mobility. Finally the whole structure is topped with dry rice plants that expand when wet and therefore prevent rain from permeating the interior while simultaneously allowing plenty of natural ventilation.
This is an organic structure made of and close to the earth; its rapid construction makes it a wonderful solution to emergency housing in a country that is particularly prone to earthquakes. Plus, it’s beautiful, and doesn’t cost a pile of money to realize.
Parsa is an award-winning designer with partners all over the world; although his studio is relatively young, he regularly works with such luminaries as Shigeru Ban Architects and NJP Architects.
Take a look at his YouTube clip above (narrated in Farsi with English subtitles) for a closer look at how easy it is to build a dome home out of bamboo and other natural materials.