SR article

Bamboo Primary School

The First Primary School in Nha Trang Vietnam

This project isn’t about a community centre, but it is about a school. Because of the public function, the use of bamboo and the way of building we will look nevertheless into it. The area Luong Son Village, in Nha Trang Vietnam didn’t had a primary school until a French Humanitarian organisation teamed up to build one with the help of Paris-based architects.

In 2000 the designers began to conceptualize their ideas and they raise funds to pay for everything. They approached the Ministry of Education and they agreed to donate a piece of land between a railway line and small river. Because of the nearness off the sea it was possible to create another type of building than the all concrete, all glass architecture seen across much of modern Vietnam.

They wanted to use local products and craftsmanship to build everything, because they wanted to show that the use of local products doesn’t need to mean that a building isn’t beautiful. In their design they also wanted to implement something that the school is naturally ventilated, because of the heat of central Vietnam. Therefor the school is composed largely of exterior spaces and relies heavily on natural ventilation. There are a few classroom’s, a teacher room, a library and a washroom.

The bamboo wasn’t suitable to use directly, because it needs to be changed. At first they need to be submerged in mud for a month to dry them. Then the sugar within the bamboo needs to be removed, because it attract insects. Finally the stems were scorched over an open flame, cleaned and polished. The roof structures were prefabricated off-site and then assembled. Reinforced-concrete column beams support the roof and the floor was made from rough concrete that will become smooth overtime.

The similarities between our project and this project is the use of bamboo. They have treated the bamboo like the way we also need to do. Besides that we also make use of big naturally ventilated spaces. Nevertheless they have funds to pay for everything (the costs were over 30.000 dollar) and we don’t. They also don’t need to make itself self-sustaining, because there is an organisation behind the school.