Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) presents the fourth iteration of Fugitive Structures, SCAF’s annual architectural pavilion series. An innovative bamboo “green steel” structure has been designed by cutting-edge architect Vo Trong Nghia Architects. A grid-like bamboo construction incorporates a dense forest of natural materials. A clear ceiling floats above, creating a shelter from the elements whilst allowing visitors to view the sky. The structure is highly porous, with entry points for adults and children to walk or crawl through.
“I want to bring nature back to the city,” Vo says. “In Ho Chi Minh City, the population has reached nearly 10 million with only 5.35km2 of green space – only 0.25% of the entire city. Vietnam’s unrestricted economic development has devastated the natural environment across the country. This is the problem architects need to solve.” Bamboo used in Fugitive Structures 2016 has been traditionally treated for two months in natural waterways followed by a further month’s treatment with fire smoke.
The inaugural pavilions were designed by Australian architectural firms; Andrew Burns’sCrescent House (2013) engaged a new audience with architectural thought; and AR-MA:Trifolium (2014) experimented with futuristic technologies via innovative robotic fabrication techniques. Sway (2015) by Israeli architectural collective Sack and Reicher + Muller with Eyal Zur epitomised the temporary – reconnecting the project with its ‘fugitive’ roots. The 2016 pavilion by Vo Trong Nghia Architects marks the first Asian firm in SCAF’s Fugitive Structures programme.
The pavilion has been installed outside State Library of Queensland in Brisbane and on display throughout March 2016, as part of the inaugural Asia Pacific Architecture Forum (APAF), before being relocated in Sydney in SCAF’s courtyard in Paddington, in June 2016.
Vo Trong Nghia Architects designed the Vietnamese pavilion for the World Expo in both Shanghai (2010) and Milan (2015). Recently, the practice participated in the Chicago Architecture Biennial (October 2015 – January 2016), and constructed a pavilion for the 30th anniversary of TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo. Working on a range of cultural, residential and commercial buildings, the practice also focuses on greening urban areas with long-term goals for Vietnam’s sustainability. Vo Trong Nghia Architects has received five World Architecture Festival Awards (2014, 2012) and in 2012 Vo was named Architect of the Year in Vietnam.