BAMBOO OPEN HOUSE at The First Street Garden
This year, Heliotrope's Creative Director Bryan Ortega-Welch has been exploring bamboo construction methodologies in South America. His research has culminated in the construction of an experimental structure out of Guadua here in NYC – designed and built in collaboration with architect Joana Torres, artist Megan Kindsfather, and a group of young women from The Lower Eastside Girls Club.
The structure is a threshold: an entranceway to a community garden, intended to bring new life to the space, to introduce NYC to this unique material, and to be the first of several architectural experimentations with bamboo on the site. These prototypes will inform the Foundation's next phase of work in Komye, Haiti. Since the 2010 earthquake, the Foundation has built homes and a community center from natural materials.
"Bamboo is incredible," says Heliotrope Foundation Creative Director Bryan Ortega-Welch. "The variety we've been experimenting with – Guadua – has the tensile strength of steel and can grow up to 100 feet tall in six months, the fastest growing plant in the world. Its potential as a cheap, renewable, seismically-resistant building material is enormous. In Haiti, as with many places in the tropics, bamboo represents the cutting edge in people's strategies for reforesting land and building homes from local renewable resources."
The December 19th Open House will be a celebration of the first Guadua structure in New York City. The design and build process behind this structure creates a bridge between young aspiring designers (ages 14-16) from the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and the youth of Komye, Haiti, who will play an instrumental role in the Foundation's next building project there.
"The Lower Eastside Girls Club was thrilled to have a dozen young women participate in this 8 week long sustainable architecture course. The future of the world is in their hands," says Lyn Pentecost, PhD. Founder and Executive Director of the Lower Eastside Girls Club.
About the Heliotrope Foundation
The Heliotrope Foundation was started by artist Caledonia Curry, also known as Swoon, to help communities respond and heal after natural disasters and other urgent social crises. We build spaces of wonder that serve as community resource centers and catalysts for local change. We believe that the creative process can and should be a part of how we heal, rebuild and move forward after natural disasters, economic devastation, and moments of social crisis. Heliotrope supports three core projects in Haiti, New Orleans and North Braddock, PA that use art to make lasting social change. HeliotropeFoundation.org
About The Lower Eastside Girls Club
The Lower Eastside Girls Club (LESGC) has been providing innovative, community-based holistic programs and services for girls and young women since 1996. The mission of LESGC is to break the cycle of local poverty by training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial and environmental leaders. The LESGC provides a place where girls and young women 8-23 can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world. In 2013 the LESGC moved into a permanent Center for Community on Avenue D – 30,000 sq feet of new state-of-the-art program space dedicated to the advancement of girls, and the neighborhood at large. www.girlsclub.org
Saturday, 19 December, 2015
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