Creative Bamboo Houses

A house that floats in a flood–but stays where it belongs.  A house which can open the roof for a breeze–or close when the rain is heavy.  All done with bamboo, re-cycled oil drums, and four to six metal poles.  Take a look at the details from this architect working in Vietnam.

low-cost bamboo housing in vietnam by H&P architects.

These kind of creative technologies (like the soda bottle filled with water and dropped in a hole in the roof to create a light bulb with no electricity) are practical responses to real concerns–and they are inspiring.

How can the Church adapt to different circumstances?  Should every church building look like a stone cathedral from northern Europe?  Of course not.  But are we willing to build floating bamboo Church buildings?  More importantly, how might we encourage the Church to adapt without loosing sight of its purpose?

This bamboo house is not a boat–it floats like a boat–but it is clearly designed to be a house.  When the Church adapts to shall we say float, we want to encourage that kind of creativity that makes a floating house without converting it into a boat.

Ironically the church auditorium has historically been called a nave, because the arched roof looks like the inside of a wooden boat hull.  Thus the word nave comes from the same roots as the word navy.  And indeed the Church has been called an ark of faith, reflecting Noah’s Ark. So it may be that we should be using boat metaphors–building canoes, sail boats, dugout canoes, row boats, motor boats, or even house boats.

All of which is to say that God gives us the gifts of creativity–may the Church be willing to step out in faith and boldness to adapt to each community and be truly incarnational, even as Jesus became human and “tented” himself in a body (John 1:14).

Hat Tip:  Silvia Waguno



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