Building with culms of Bambusa vulgaris is a biological and structural challenge. The most mature bamboo poles have to be selected according to diameter and curve, wall thickness, and then treated against beetle attacks with boron salts. A cleverly designed bamboo structure will be well protected against rain and ground moisture as air-dried poles will not be affected by fungi, even in the most humid climate. As the Haduwa project has shown, a proper grading system of curves and diameters is the only way to find the poles best suited for the prefabrication of the bamboo arches on the matrix on the ground. It’s a dangerous yet very emotional moment when these huge bamboo arches are raised onto the foundations and composed to form the final shell. The project is a fine example of engineering and craftsmanship, which will enhance art performances in a country that usually gives little thought to such outstanding endeavors. Hopefully, the structural performance of the rather neglected Bambusa vulgaris will not let us down, and this building will become a long-term example of an excellent bamboo structure protected by a high-tech membrane. Not only will the local artists enjoy the shell as a durable shelter against sun and rain for their training and performances, its unique design and unusual raw material may well stimulate their creativity. This inspiring example of architecture, made with sustainably harvested bamboo, will spur the local tourist industry into looking at a neglected resource as a viable construction material. It took a year of intense work to go through the planning and fundraising, harvesting, preservation, laying of foundations, assembly, membrane design, and construction. Let this project be the ignition spark for a motor that will drive bamboo architecture in Ghana and West Africa.
Jörg Stamm, born in 1963 in Germany, lives in Columbia and is a trained carpenter who started working with bamboo in 1992. He is the creator of large-scale bamboo projects all over the world, and one of the most renowned bamboo experts of our time. He has worked for UNIDO, GIZ, GTZ.