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By Simón Vélez&
The singular virtues of bamboo, one of the world's most important construction materials, are being rediscovered: not only is it extremely cost-effective and durable, it also has a unique aesthetic appeal, whilst its internal structure is remarkably similar to more high-tech materials. Columbian architect Simón Vélez (born 1959) has recognized the benefits of bamboo and put them to practical use in numerous buildings. His project, the pavilion for the ZERI Foundation at Expo 2000 in Hannover-which, at a diameter of 130 feet and height of 55 feet is one of the largest bamboo structures in the world--is described in great detail.