Bamboo is sustainable and rapidly renewable, economically sound, beautiful and durable. Use of this versatile, disaster-resilient material is increasingly accepted by architects worldwide as having enormous environmental and socio-economic benefits.

This Architectural Association Myanmar Visiting School (AAMMVS) aims to provide space and support to invigorate the architectural use of Myanmar’s abundant local bamboo resources. The project will revitalize local, traditional bamboo use techniques, and where applicable, combine them with current international best practices in the use of bamboo. It will promote the application of bamboo as an environmentally sound, renewable, and practical means to increasing and sustaining local craftsmanship, sustainable livelihoods, cultural heritage, while supporting carbon sequestering and environmental protection in the region. The AAMMVS will provide innovative design and construction will act as a rallying call to elevate the latent potential of bamboo by synthesizing: ancient cultural tradition; local bamboo species; and cutting edge architectural design and testing software.

The project also aims to increase public perception and acceptance of bamboo as a mainstream, highly viable and versatile construction material that can be applied to a wide range of Myanmar’s infrastructure needs.


AAMMVS’ vision is an equation….


Massive built infrastructure deficit + untapped resource of bamboo construction

= The Myanmar Sustainable Futures Opportunity





The Site & Location

The Visiting School will be located near Bago, a city of 5.5 million people, approximately 1.5-hour drive from Yangon International airport, and two hours from downtown Yangon.


The Project

The brief of the AAMMVS will be to design a School of Architecture. This independent school of architecture that will be located on a 3.5-acre site adjacent to the Bago Metta Centre. It is intended that these designs will be built in the near future following the course.


This School of Architecture will focus on nurturing young creative architects.  Innovation, critical thinking and design will play an important role in the direction of this currently relatively underdeveloped country.


Students at the School of Architecture will be guided in developing their awareness of the full range of the Architect’s responsibilities, including: economics/supply chain, education, environmental, and cultural considerations. Students will work on ‘real world projects’, using a project-based learning approach. To facilitate these activities a professional architect’s project office will be attached to the school, located on an adjoining piece of land.


With sustainability at the core of the proposed teaching program, bamboo will play a strategic and important physical, economic and cultural development of the School of Architecture.


The centre will provide a variety of physical demonstrations of uses for bamboo as well as other natural building materials and relevant techniques. Included at the school will be a bamboo treatment facility – which will be operational in early 2017.


About the Course

  • Experimental design with bamboo.
  • Development of Burmese architectural expression.
  • Innovative bamboo connection details.
  • Emphasis on practicality and replicability.
  • Taxonomy, cutting and treatment.
  • Computation design and testing process.


Community Participation

An important part of these courses is the two-way knowledge transfer between overseas participants and the local community where we are working. This will be a magnet for debate, discourse and reimagining solutions to problems of the local built environment and ecology. Local craftsmen, carpenters, as well as school children will be part and parcel of this course and this will create unique perspective and unique experiences for overseas participants.