A local architect famous for his bamboo designs wants to popularize buildings made of all-natural materials. Elip Café, a mostly-bamboo design by Vo Trong Nghia and his partners in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City Award-winning architect Vo Trong Nghia says the best building designs use nature to their advantage. Nghia’s Wind and Water Café – which is built almost entirely of bamboo and uses a central pond as a natural air conditioner – was selected as one of 2008’s Best Global Designs at the International Architecture Awards last month. “For me, the award is important because it acknowledges that I’m moving in the right direction, in line with modern architectural trends,” says Nghia, winner of more than 10 national and international architecture awards. He describes the ideal contemporary design movements as those that are “open and close to nature with environment-friendly and unrefined materials.” He says that while the rich can easily buy all natural things or experience nature at expensive resorts, communing with nature has become increasingly difficult for the poor. His mission is to make more natural dwellings more accessible to the poor. Wind and Water Café, in Binh Duong Province’s Thu Dau Mot Town 20…
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