Pushing the Structural Boundaries with Bamboo

The Luum Temple in Tulum, Mexico is a pioneering example of what happens when traditional wisdom meets modern engineering. It is designed to stand against hurricane winds and significant seismic forces. The structural system has five intersecting hyperbolic paraboloids made of bamboo arches and split bamboo beams. Due to bamboo’s lightweight nature, particular attention must … Read more

Ancient Underground Cities in Turkey

Turkey has long been known for its labyrinth of underground cities, and archaeologists now believe that they may have discovered the largest one yet. Sarayini was once used as a shelter by local Christians who were persecuted by the Roman empire and local Muslim leaders and needed to protect themselves from raids. The 215,000-square-foot ancient … Read more

Sculptor Builds Permanent Nubian Vaulted Structure

“Lookout,” located on a hilltop in a wooded corner of the Storm King Art Center, is sculptor Martin Puryearthe’s latest work. “Lookout,” which has 90 openings of varying dimensions, is his first piece in brick. He claims that this is his most complicated sculpture to date. It uses a technique known as Nubian vaulting, developed … Read more

Using Natural Tree Forms in Buildings

The use of trunks or branches of trees in their entirety can accentuate their innate mechanical properties for structural stability. By embracing the grain structure and longitudinal fibers of timber, these wood pieces demonstrate strong mechanical resistance. Some engineering companies, such as Whole Trees, and architectural research institutes, such as the Architectural Association postgraduate program … Read more

Four Sisters Create Hobbiton Village in Bosnia

Earth-sheltered homes—mostly buried in dirt—have been around for centuries. Now four sisters are creating a hobbit-style village in southeast Europe. They hope their snug community will appeal to experience seekers, Bosnian culture enthusiasts, and The Lord of the Rings fans. Earth-sheltered homes take the form of dugouts, earth lodges, and sod houses around the globe. … Read more