CRU! architects works with villagers to build bamboo community center in coastal brazil

CRU! architects works with villagers to build bamboo community center in coastal brazil

built using locally sourced bamboo, this structure in brazil serves as the focal point for a coastal community. conceived as a social initiative, the project was developed alongside those living in the low-income community of camburi — a village located near the town of ubatuba. while architecture firm CRU! offered technical and financial assistance, the community was responsible for the building’s program and the role that would play within the village.

all images © nelson kon



from the outset, the local association wanted a community center that would serve as a space to hold a range of events, including meetings and school activities. meanwhile, the brief asked for several separate rooms to accommodate school classes. the community also asked for a structure integrated within the landscape that would form a new focal point for the town.



located 50 meters (164 ft) inland from the beach, the center is oriented towards the ocean in order to capture sea breezes. ‘by raising the roof sufficiently high and by avoiding perpendicular walls blocking airflow inside the building, the ventilation flow is optimal,’ explains CRU! architects. ‘under warm and humid conditions higher wind velocities have a positive effect on the physiological as well as psychological well-being.’



the architects also say that the sheer force of the wind had a big impact on the design. ‘in order to have adequate wind-bracing, the triangulation of the construction needed to be well studied and executed in good order and detail,’ CRU! continues. ‘elevating a building with wind-bracing only at the end can have detrimental consequences during (frequent) storms. the use of four columns, with the cross-bracing of both lateral trusses proved to be sufficient to act as wind-bracing.’



the project, which began in 2004, is still ongoing with the architects continuing to work closely with the community to develop their construction skills. the site is now home to a computer room, library, pre-school, surfboard storage room, office, and even a community bakery. read more about other bamboo projects on designboom here.



project info:


name: community center camburi
architect: CRU! architects
location: ubatuba, brazil
completion year: 2018
gross built area: 175 sqm / 1,884 sqf
lead architect: sven mouton
collaborating architects: reintje jacobs, jan detavernier, britt christiaense
photography: nelson kon

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