Above + Beyond: Live, Floating Bamboo City Built by Kids
Not many people would deny that children can teach us a great deal about the world. Their interesting viewpoints and limited experiences give them the ability to see things from a completely unique perspective.
This is part of why architects Yu Hui, Sam Cho and Mu Wei wanted to work with kids while building “City in Sky.” The project was organized by Natur Life Organic and carried out by 39 children and their parents over a period of three months in Wuhan, China.
Working only on the weekends, the children sketched and talked about how they wanted their city to be. The grown-up architects and the kid architects worked together to plan out a floating city.
Large, strong trunks of bamboo were arranged in inverted pyramids to hold up the flooring and tiny houses. This makes the houses appear to “float” above the ground.
Live bamboo was used in the process as well. Two open-air “houses” use living, growing bamboo as their architectural support. These components will continue growing and changing the appearance of the entire “city.”
Hui, the architect in charge of the overall project, contends that architects around the world are forgetting how to use materials other than concrete and steel. This project is a challenge to them to consider other ideas and move toward using sustainable materials.
Seen as a whole, those little house-shaped boxes on a platform really can be called a city. The main platform and the two open-air growing houses provide a common space for the children to play and socialize.
Since living materials were used in the construction, the architects are reluctant even to consider the City in Sky to be an artificial structure. It grew from the active imaginations of children and, with love and care, will continue to grow and thrive…just like the kid architects who built it.