Tanna Center For The Arts

Meet the new, experimental build plans for our first bungalow! It’s a small Nima T’Kiskissik or nest of the T’Kiskissik bird in the Middle Bush dialect called Nata.

This structure kicks off VPF’s Summer of Firsts. It’s a collaborative endeavor between Chief Jimmy Lumé’s Rural Training Center students and our dedicated NYC Design/Build team.

The design challenge with this bungalow? See if the roof stays on! January’s storm season will test this design’s combination of traditional Tanna vernacular paired with joints and arches torn from a page (literally) of legendary bamboo architect Simon Velez.

On Tanna, centuries of skilled builders have evolved a structural style that is “seismically indifferent” to earthquakes. Our aim with this experiment is to improve the “break-away roofing” strategy engaged by many islanders.

Materials list:

  • Bamboo
  • Palm wood dowels
  • A few bolts
  • Rebar (local to Port Vila)
  • Enough cement for pylons

The trick? Incorporate both Tanna’s traditional structural design and the unique joint structure and roof fastening system of celebrated Colombian bamboo architect Simon Vélez.

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