simón vélez, the bamboo architect at the venice architecture biennale
image © designboom

 

 

 

venice architecture biennale 2016: colombian architect simon vélez is known for developing a variety of projects using bamboo. however, what many don’t know is that for him it hasn’t been easy to reach this point. as a firm believer that aesthetics should be for everyone, vélez has created a name for himself thanks to the work he has done with material. referring to it as ‘vegetable steel’, bamboo is an ‘economical, renewable, extremely resilient, easily available material, capable of being used by people with very different building skills.’ although all these qualities sound like perfection, the architect has encountered a series of challenges.

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
simón vélez is an architect known for his innovative use of bamboo as a building material
image © designboom

 

 

 

vélez’s works range from houses for rich clients as well as public projects. he states that he has done it ‘in order to subsidize himself and create new knowledge that can be applied when working for poorer clients.’ his work has been studied all around the world, after vélez pioneered an innovation that introduced concrete into the nodes of the bamboo to improve and strengthen its structural capacity at its weakest point. ‘he has lobbied for the use of bamboo in public projects because of its relevance to the place if compared to other less appropriate materials and building techniques alien to the context.’

 

with this, the colombian architect has created not only a successful career, but has opened a path for this material, that can be benefited and can benefit many from its use. for more images, follow designboom on our dedicated instagram account @venice.architecture.biennale.

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
the hanging structure uses the strongest part of the bamboo, which goes under the soil
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
the exhibition has two different models illustrating the architect’s work
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venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
vélez calls bamboo the ‘vegetable steel’
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
bamboo is an economical, renewable, extremely resilient, easily available material
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
vélez has worked for affluent clients in order to subsidize his work
image © designboom

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image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
vélez has lobbied for the use of bamboo in public projects
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
vélez describes each of his buildings as a small battle
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
examples of the architect’s work
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
image © designboom

venice architecture biennale 2016 simon velez bamboo designboom
portrait of the colombian architect
image © designboom

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