Bamboo and Mediterranean Reed: The Canya Viva Method

by Margherita Bertoli (CanyaViva Italia)

Generally considered invasive because of its high reproductive capacity and adaptability, the Mediterranean reed (Arundo donax L.) is a plant with the major structural and artistic potential: its abundance and renewability and its mechanical properties offer the opportunity to use it as material for construction, with a freedom of expression that allows you to create organic and innovative forms.
It is undeniable that the characteristics of the space in which we move, affects our behavior: the creation of organic places, natural and characterized by curved line stimulates internal states related to the association, to the essential analogic, creative and musical universe. The experience of a living space of this kind is accomplished through a spherical logic that welcomes, embraces and regenerates, manifesting itself in the use of natural materials through participatory construction processes that are developed in the respect of the environment.

Canya Viva bio

CanyaVivaItalia was founded in 2016 as the Italian core of the CanyaViva network, continuing the path started around 2005 with the first experiments of the English architect Jonathan Cory-Wright: observing the natural behavior of the reeds that grew on the banks of the Rio Aguas at the town of Los Molinos del Rio Aguas (Almeria, Andalusia), he began to elaborate the constructive method now called the CanyaViva Method. This method consists in the optimization of the mechanical properties of Arundo donax (the Mediterranean cane) and the bamboo for the creation of structural arches that can be combined in different compositional possibilities.

CanyaViva is a multidisciplinary collective based in Barcelona, ​​whose aim is to strengthen the connections between man and his natural environment, as well social and cultural.  Through its training courses, active apprenticeship workshops and social projects, CanyaViva is committed to the dissemination of technical skills and expertise, providing necessary tools to build their own space using local resources, with a minimum cost and without spending fuel energy. In this way it is supported self-construction and the choice of a more sustainable form of life, free and independent.