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Manasaram Architects

Ar. Neelam Manjunath
Bengaluru, India | View Map
Project Year
Krishanu Chatterjee and Neelam Manjunath


Manasaram Architects as Architects

Bamboo Symphony is the office of Manasaram Architects. The basic requirement was thus to embody their Design and other philosophies in the building along with other requirements of space and services. Manasaram Architects stand by the principle that Architecture and Sustainability go hand in hand. True architecture, they believe, is one that addresses all the three faculties of man, namely Physical, Psychological and Spiritual. They also show immense respect towards the highly evolved science of the materials and processes in nature and try to learn from these.

This project is an attempt to reverse the notion of Bamboo being termed as ‘Poor Man’s Building Material’ and replace steel, concrete and other similar materials. Bamboo has been used in a unique style, but owes its inspiration to age-old traditional fishing platforms in India -- truly synergetic structures. Slender bamboo columns act as columns and beams, harmoniously defining the spaces, yet giving a feeling of extreme lightness.

The office has an open plan with four split levels, all overlooking a central lotus pond. The principal architect’s cabin sits at the bottom level, ensuring visual connectivity across all the spaces. Building orientation and roof form allow for strong North-East and South-West winds to blow over the structure, without any drafts inside despite it being fully open on the South. Light pipes made from 6"PVC plumbing pipes in the slab for areas deeper than 3m ensure optimum daylight. The 50,000 liters capacity RWH pond is landscaped with a rich variety of locally available water plants and lilies, enhancing the microclimate. The overflow from the pond recharges the Bore well.

Bamboo is one of the main building materials used. It has taken various forms, including the main columns and beams, Bamboo-crete walling - a system of precast wall panel and also as flooring elements. Apart from Bamboo, mud and stone are the other major components in this building. Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks were made from excavated soil on the site, achieving strengths up to 98 kg/cm2. Stone, which was available in and around site served as thermal storage in the masonry walls, thus enabling passive cooling.

The roof is a novel design, a synergetic web-like structure. The slab is cast with Bamboo-fiber Reinforced Concrete(BFRC) which is lighter than conventional concrete, thus reducing the load on the columns. The columns though look haphazardly placed, have definite size, position and inclination i.e. they are 100% structurally relevant. The roof defined its own shape as per the flow of the forces like a stretched fabric over the supports.

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