Island: A Writers’ Retreat

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The project is imagined as a small temporary bamboo building inside which one may write. The title “Island” refers to the separation of the interior space from the outside of a hot and humid Beijing. This separation is threefold—the physical separation created by a surrounding water-garden whereby the access is made by crossing a bamboo platform; the visual separation of a veil of bamboo textile covering entirely the structure and diffusing light; and a thermal separation achieved by a passive natural ventilation cooling system inspired in part by the barjeel wind-towers of the middle east. A central column of bamboo poles forms a wind-tower. The poles are threaded through a heavy concrete water-filled earth-supported tub at the base. This tub and its steel base plate form a ballast foundation supporting the bamboo super-structure, and act as a water, wind, and earth cooled thermal sink, and as a desk from which to write. The design aims to exhibit the pliability of bamboo; as a construction material; the building being made from bamboo pole, bamboo lath, bamboo-ply, bamboo decking, and bamboo textile. At night, with internal light reflecting in the surrounding water pool, the building is intended to resemble a Chinese paper lantern.

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Springer Tracts in Civil Engineering

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