Bamboo Star Dome, how to build it

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The star dome or cupola star is the application of the concept of geodesic dome using bamboo. Ideal for the garden is built quickly while having fun.

Bamboo Star Dome, how to build it
Arch. Luca Maioli
Arch. Luca Maioli

Why to use the bamboo in the garden

Bamboo has always been considered in Europe a material suitable only for a certain type of ethnic furniture, in recent years it has been significantly revalued enough to sometimes replace the traditional wood especially for manufacturing floors, furniture and everyday objects.

The use of bamboo is especially suitable because of its flexibility, it also has antibacterial qualities and is resistant in wet environments, key features when you want to build a gazebo or a dome in the garden.

Stardome in bambù architetto Luca maioli

The bamboo material of the future

Bamboo is rightly considered by many to be the material of the future, able to reduce decisively the problem of deforestation and sometimes even to replace steel; not surprisingly, the bamboo is also called natural steel, think of the scaffolding traditionally made in India, China or Japan.

The bamboo is a plant highly pest, capable of quickly replace any existing type of crop in a farmland, because of the particular roots that grow horizontally in the subsoil, by throttling so to speak all other roots that encountered along the way.

A little known feature of the roots of bamboo is their containment capacity of the soil; if in Italy was actively promoted the culture of bamboo, there would only be an abundance of raw material at relatively low cost, but in some circumstances could be avoided important works in reinforced concrete for the containment of the land.

Where the bamboo is grown in Italy

With increasing attention to a type of sustainable development, in recent years in Italy the cultivation of bamboo is rapidly spreading.

In Cravanzana, in the farm of Thomas Froese, you can visit one of the most beautiful and varied bambu cultivation thanks to the impressive number of species present.

The company Bambuseto is instead based in Camaiore, in the province of Lucca, and in addition to selling its plants also provides consulting services and design.

At the farm Terra di Langa, then you can walk among the plants of bambu and learn to recognize them thanks to the training of Bar Lorenzo, president of AIB (Italian Association of Bamboo).


The Star Dome, a starry dome made in bamboo

The star dome, otherwise called domed ceilings, is the application by the Japanese Kyushu Fieldwork Society of the concept of geodesic dome widespread in the fifties by the architect Buckminster Fuller.
Compared to the geodesic dome, constituted by rigid elements and short, the Stardome uses the bamboo, a plant widespread in Japan that can also reach the ten meters high and that thanks to the flexibility that distinguishes it is well suited to the purpose.

A dome standard star has a diameter of between four and five meters, so as to achieve an acceptable height inside and use bamboo canes between seven and eight meters.

Required materials

The equipment required is not much, you need:

- Four fresh bamboo plants and not yet cured of at least ten centimeters in diameter and long 7:00 to 8:00 meters, depending on the final diameter to be achieved

-a blade to clean the bamboo from branches and leaves

-a saw and a meter to even bamboo plants to the desired length

-one splitter by four, so as to derive from each stem four strips each

-a rubber mallet or wood to settle shots on the splitter without damaging

-a drill to open holes in the bamboo strips

- Screws and bolts for securing the nodes between the strips or twine to use for the base circle as an alternative to the bamboo (

How to build a Stardome

Usa lo splittatore per ottenere le strisce To build a stard dome, once prepared and cut the bamboo, using one splittater must earn from each stem four strips. Afterwards you have to divide the strips obtained in two groups of five and mark with a meter which will open the holes at those who will be the nodes of the structure.

It is critical that this step is followed precisely so you may want to check a second time once the size marked before proceeding with the drill.
To know where to open holes you can refer to the site Simply Differently, where there is also a very useful computer to control the ratio between the diameter and the height of the dome according to the length of the strips.

When the bamboo strips are ready there is nothing else to do but assemble them. With a group we will create the star that later will be clearly visible in the top, while with the second group will form the pentagon and consequently the star more visible in the figure.

schema per ottenere star dome Finally, all that remains is to fix the knots with the bolts and bending the strips to form a hemisphere.
The base can circle with string or, if they are advanced, with the other strips of bamboo.

The assembly operations are not complicated, rather they are very fast if you divide the strips neatly and open the holes with precision, with the condition that at the time of bending the strips and create the dome are present more people to maintain in the right positions all the elements.

star dome in bambu e argilla

If you want to create a private space in the garden, with little material and in no time you can built a dome made of bamboo that can then be completed with the sheets or, as occurred at a rally in Milan, with the network to act as jute armor together with raw clay.

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