Front Wall Under Construction
Bamboo Framing
Rear Wall Window
Sleeping Loft with Mud Plaster Wall
Bamboo Structure

Bamboo House

The Bamboo House is a design/build project of Earth Shelter, a non-profit design/research organization that Daniel Glenn co-founded in 1986 to research and promote sustainable development in Nicaragua.  The project team provided design, tools, funding, and volunteer labor to build this bamboo-soil cement housing prototype as an alternative form of housing in a resource-limited and war torn nation. The project was built on the land of the theater cooperative Nixtayalero, in a remote rain forest in the mountains outside of the community of Matagalpa.

The project was a demonstration project as part of a larger effort to promote the use of bamboo as an alternative resource.  David Farrelly, author of The Book of Bamboo, served as a resident expert in bamboo technology. The design derives both from indigenous A-frame structures of the region and an earthquake-resistant housing prototype in bamboo developed by the Columbian architect Oscar Hidalgo.  The A-frame form steps down the slope of the site.  This approach created a two-story clerestory opening bringing more light into the house.  Wall enclosures were developed with a variety of experimental systems.  The project was completed in 1987 and utilized by Nixtayalero as a house and theater library for the theater company.