tacuara pavillion

The TACUARA Pavilion was part of a workshop that included six online sessions and three in-person sessions. This workshop was conducted in collaboration with Professor Mansur Arevalo and Tacuara Diseño en Bambú. Initially, our course featured informative sessions on bamboo construction led by Uraba Ponzone and Camila Duque from Tacuara Diseño en Bambú. Following that, Arevalo and I provided tutorials on Rhino and Grasshopper.

After learning to design organic bamboo geometries in Rhino and Grasshopper, students were invited to build a pop-up gridshell, designed during the course from an exercise performed in master’s degree in Parametric Design in Architecture at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in 2017. The tools used for the conceptual design were the Grasshopper and the Kangaroo.

Kangaroo simulates the physical stresses of geometry when gravitational and intentional forces are applied. The pavilion started from a hexagonal grid drawn in the virtual plan, simulating the grid being built on the ground. Forces towards the center of the geometry were applied to three equidistant areas in the perimeter of the gridshell to test the result of the dynamics of physical forces. When the forces are applied to the bamboo gridshell, the geometry is rigged and takes on a form similar to what was simulated in Kangaroo. However, it was noticed that as the bamboo strip is heterogeneous, with nodules and different thicknesses between the base and the tip, some areas present a more accentuated curvature than the Kangaroo previewed.

design process
Gridshell designed in Grasshopper and Kangaroo
Curvature analysis
Support arches
Entrance and bamboo scaffolding
Pop up gridshell placement
pop up gridshell (flat hexagonal grid)
fabrication plan - pop-up gridshell
fabrication process - pop-up gridshell

Construction Steps (Fologram/Grasshopper):

blue. gridshell on the floor;
red. pushing the 3 supports towards the center;
yellow. placing the arches.

In conclusion, due to the heterogeneity of the material, the precision is not exact. this makes it essential for the designer to be present at the construction site, constantly testing the curvature and other aspects of the material. Back to Grasshopper, the design can be adapted to accomodate these new measures. This forms a feedback loop where we can analyse the minimum curvature of the design and test on an individual bamboo strip before rigging the entire structure. Finally, limitations in representing fine details, such as nodules and thickness, in the model can be overcome by ensuring a gap. That is, cutting all bamboo strips longer than the lengths given by Grasshopper, to ensure an excess material in areas where the bamboo may not fit or bend as much.


Date: March 2023
Location: San Rafael, Colombia

Course facilitators/tutors:
Camila Calegari Marques, Mansur Arevalo

Tacuara leaders:
Camila Dutra, Urabá del Sol Ponzone

Tacuara team:
Exneider Madrid, Alvaro López, Adolfo Salazar, Jeimer Guarin, Fernando Enamorado, Cristian Morales, Camilo Ocampo

Construction team:
Camila Calegari Marques, Mansur Arevalo, Urabá del Sol Ponzone, Camila Dutra, Alvaro López, Juliana Saenz, Paola de Gracia, Luis Santiago M. Ramírez, Celina Llerena, Daniel Rua Calle, Daniel Pineda, Santiago Montoya, Carlos Esteban, Carlos Pinzon, Elizabeth Valencia, Tatiana Sierra, Alex