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Lotus flower-inspired bamboo huts. Student project in the finals of the competition

Dobrawa Bies
12 of March '21

Cambodianbamboo huts inspired by the lotus flower is a proposal by a team of Warsaw University of Technology students, consisting of: Zuzanna Bednarska, Edyta Kaszuba, Maria Mitrzak and Franciszek Przepiórka. The Lotus Hut project was the only one from Poland to make it to the finals of the international Cambodia remote hideout huts competition.

Cambodia remote hideout h uts is a competition organized by the Bee Breeders platform in cooperation with The Vine Retreat. The task was to design small, prototype huts on the southern coast of Cambodia that would provide accommodation for two people. The structures were to be adapted to the distinctive South Asian climate and allow for construction in a number of forested locations. One of the main design considerations was to use local materials and eco-friendly solutions, and to create a space that would provide guests with an ideal environment for tranquility and relaxation.

Projekt The Lotus Hut,
antresola do medytacji

The goal of the competition was to create a space that would provide conditions for tranquility and relaxation

© Zuzanna Bednarska, Edyta Kaszuba, Maria Mitrzak, Franciszek Przepiórka

The team from Warsaw University of Technology in the finals

The results of the competition were announced in early March this year. The international jury consisted of David Cole (Atelier COLE), Vichera Heang (head of the Department of Architecture at Paragon International University in Phnom Penh), Rok Oman (OFIS architects), Chris Precht (Studio Precht), Sean Shen, Xuanru Chen and Yu-Ying Tsai (ZJJZ Atelier), Magic Kwan and Kenrick Wong of Orient Occident Atelier. The Outside In project of a team from the United States won, while second prize was awarded to a team from Morocco for their Of Mind And Space project. Third place was awarded to students from the United States for their Rattan House project.

Projekt The Lotus Hut,
przekrój  Projekt The Lotus Hut,
elewacje

The object's rounded shape was achieved through a structure made of bent bamboo tied with ropes

© Zuzanna Bednarska, Edyta Kaszuba, Maria Mitrzak, Franciszek Przepiórka

The work The Lotus Hut by a team from the Warsaw University of Technology, consisting of: Zuzanna Bednarska, Edyta Kaszuba, Maria Mitrzak and Franciszek Przepiórka.

This is the first start in an architectural competition for us, we learned a lot, got a lot of joy from creating our own design and eagerly awaited the results. Designing and presenting our own idea in an international forum was a very interesting experience for us, and certainly provides encouragement for further participation in future similar events," the students said.

lotus inspiration

The lotus is a flower that for centuries has been a symbol of purification, rebirth and spiritual enlightenment. From its name comes the title of the project: The Lotus Hut, which aimed to create a place for peaceful meditation and contemplation in the bosom of Cambodian nature. The students took inspiration for its form and mode of operation from the process of the flower's activity in the diurnal cycle. This observation was the basis for creating a shelter both hidden from the world and open to nature and the landscape. The local and environmentally friendly materials used in the design promote the hut's integration into its surroundings.

Projekt The Lotus Hut,
rzut parteru Projekt The Lotus Hut, rzut
dachu

The hut is built on a hexagonal plan

© Zuzanna Bednarska, Edyta Kaszuba, Maria Mitrzak, Franciszek Przepiórka

Just as a lotus closes for the night, only to swing open again with sunrise, the hut allows you to open up to the world by lifting the flower petal-shaped shutters, or take shelter from heavy rain and strong sun by closing them. With its central hexagonal projection, the structure offers a panoramic view as well as a cozy hideaway. A special meditation area, provided on the mezzanine floor, is elevated from the ground level to provide a sense of freedom and detachment from the world.

On the first floor, surrounded by an outdoor terrace, there is a bathroom (connected to the local water and sewage system), a small storage area, a table and a ladder staircase leading to the mezzanine. The mezzanine is a place of rest, both physically and mentally - on its opposite sides are located a bed and a space for meditation.

Projekt The Lotus Hut,
wnętrze chatki

The shutters resemble lotus petals

© Zuzanna Bednarska, Edyta Kaszuba, Maria Mitrzak, Franciszek Przepiórka

bamboo as the main construction material

The hut sits on a platform raised slightly above the ground. On the first floor level it has three openings, protected by a curtain and an opening mosquito net. The opposite side of the facade, devoid of openings, visually retains the same division. The space between the raised roof and the walls supports the natural ventilation of the room. Material solutions were carefully considered by the authors so as not to contribute to Cambodia's ongoing deforestation. The main construction material is bamboo, a highly renewable and environmentally friendly material used in local vernacular architecture.

Projekt The Lotus Hut,
pokrycie elewacji

Woven bamboo mats cover the facade

© Zuzanna Bednarska, Edyta Kaszuba, Maria Mitrzak, Franciszek Przepiórka

The object's roundedshape, achieved through the use of rope-tied bent bamboo construction, blends the hut into its surroundings, making it part of the natural environment. This effect is enhanced by the woven bamboo mats used as facade coverings. The only extraneous elements are the concrete foundations, used for reasons of pest control and wetland protection.

Also read about the Hideout self-sustaining huts project by author Justyna Dmytryk.

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