Great Wall at Shui Guan, China

The project site on the mountain overlooking the Great Wall of China was rather wild than sophisticated. When I first stood on this site, I envisioned a small one-story house surrounding a quite courtyard much like the vernacular style of Chinese houses.
On the way back from the site, I visited the town outside of Beijing where a number of material suppliers array their shops, in the hope of finding building materials for the project that are specific to China. Perhaps because hardly any wood structures are used for construction in China today, available lumber types were limited, and I could not even find any structural plywood. What caught my eyes instead was a kind of plywood in the color of blood. By having a closer look, I discovered that it was a lamination of thin strips of bamboo woven into sheets. I was told that this bamboo plywood was used typically for concrete framework. If bamboo could be made into plywood, I though, then it would be possible to laminate strips of bamboo into building lumber.
Until then, I had not been much interested in bamboo, which has been used for many years in Asia and South America as building material. The reason was that no architect has succeeded in using bamboo as primary building structure in contemporary architecture, other than a Columbian architect Simon Velez who has poured concrete inside of bamboo tubes to make structural element.
Other fact to consider into design was that the construction administration of the project would be handled by the client themselves due to the project’s remote site and its limited budget. To minimize the weight on construction administration, I decided to make my “furniture house” system which is a pre-fabricated modularized building system I have been developing for some years, out of the bamboo laminated lumber. The laminated bamboo was used for the unit framing system and beams as well as interior and exterior finish.