Review: Green Ladder pavilion by Vo Trong Nghia

By Penny Craswell

The latest Fugitive Structures pavilion to be commissioned by the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) is a bamboo structure called “Green Ladder” designed by architect du jour Vo Trong Nghia whose mission is to bring back greenery into the city via architecture, especially in his home country of Vietnam.

Green Ladder designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects for the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. Photo: Dianna Snape
Green Ladder designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects for the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. Photo: Dianna Snape


In my role as media consultant of the Fugitive Structures architecture pavilion series for SCAF, I was able to meet Nghia and also speak to him about the structure, as well as hear some behind-the-scenes details of the bamboo treatment process used on the installation.

“In Vietnam, people use bamboo ladders, for example in construction sites, but it is also a beautiful structure,” Nghia explains. “We combine traditional techniques with really modern design in this pavilion.”

Green Ladder is constructed from bamboo, a material Vo Trong Nghia Architects has used extensively in other projects as well. For this project, the bamboo was soaked in water for up to three months after being shucked and then was smoked, creating a particularly strong material that Nghia calls green steel.

Bamboo being treated in Vietnam. Image: supplied
Bamboo being treated in Vietnam. Image: supplied


The pavilion is also part of Nghia’s mission to bring greenery back to the city. In Ho Chi Minh City, only 0.25% of the city is green space, a figure that Nghai would like to see raised.

“We are doing a lot of houses to try to bring greenery into the city – we do this by including greenery on the buildings. This pavilion expresses our concept but it can also be realised in architecture and building, and in every project we do.”

_DMS8268Green Ladder opened on 1 March as part of the inaugural Asia Pacific Architecture Forum and is currently installed at the State Library of Queensland. In the middle of 2016, Green Ladder will move to SCAF’s Sydney gallery courtyard.

More on Green Ladder

More on Vo Trong Nghia Architects

The bamboo was soaked in water for up to three months. Image: supplied
The bamboo was soaked in water for up to three months. Image: supplied
Bamboo being smoked. Image: supplied
Bamboo being smoked. Image: supplied
Render of Green Ladder showing installation at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. Image: supplied
Render of Green Ladder showing installation at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation. Image: supplied

 

 

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