Build Your Own Inexpensive Bamboo Cubby

View from the top showing the veranda, pergola, and solar panel
Build Your Own Bamboo Cubby

Every kid always wants their only little getaway within the comfort of their backyard. They imagine temporary forts from lawn chairs and sheets, ask their parents for a plastic little tike set, or get their treehouse nestled between branches and leaves up in the sky.

Providing a stronger architectural touch to these types of structures, we have constructed a miniature dwelling called the ‘Bamboo Cubby House’.

A bamboo cubby house is a type of playhouse made out of bamboo. They are usually small in size and have a simple design. Bamboo cubby houses provide a great place for children to play and explore. They are also a great way to teach children about environmental responsibility since bamboo is a sustainable resource.

The cubby in its natural setting next to a pond
The cubby in its natural setting next to a pond

The bamboo cubby is a 1.2 x 1.2-meter building that has been built from bamboo and recycled colour bond roofing and timber. Its perimeter explores various techniques of making bamboo screens and walls with half-split poles that have been stitched by pins and sisal rope to create a weatherproof barrier. Above, the corrugated metal roofing is fixed to the supporting partitions using J-bolts.

Voids in the façade have been made for the insertion of the window and door frames of timber planks. The result is the utilization of cross-sectional, cylindrical stalks and a change in the stitching pattern. The gutter is also made from bamboo with a drip chain providing a rain feature.

The bamboo cubby has been developed as a prototype for an eco-cabin with passive design principles. The entrance veranda is topped with a pergola roof and solar panel that is capable of powering LED lights and a solar pump in the adjacent pond.

Start of the bamboo frame with bamboo pins
Start the bamboo frame with bamboo pins

Fixing the bamboo frame together with cross pieces in place

Fixing the bamboo frame together with cross pieces in place
Fixing the bamboo frame together with cross pieces in place

Editorial comment:  Note the regulation of safety boots worn by Munir in this photo. Do as I say, not as I do?  😀

Corrugated colourbond roofing sheet fixed to the frame using J-bolts
Corrugated color bond roofing sheet fixed to the frame using J-bolts
Close up of bamboo the connection between bamboo poles with bamboo pins. Later the joint is tied with sisal rope
Close-up of bamboo the connection between bamboo poles with bamboo pins. Later the joint is tied with sisal rope.
Half split bamboo poles are overlapped and stitched together using sisal rope
Half-split bamboo poles are overlapped and stitched together using sisal rope for your bamboo cubby.
For the wall along the fence we re-used an old bamboo blind and cut it to fit the shape
For the wall along the fence, we re-used an old bamboo blind and cut it to fit the shape
Close up of stitching
Close up of stitching
The rainwater channel is also made from half split bamboo painted with waterproof paint for longevity. A drip chain creates a water feature that fills the pot at the bottom
The rainwater channel is also made from half-split bamboo painted with waterproof paint for longevity. A drip chain creates a water feature that fills the pot at the bottom
View from the top showing the veranda, pergola, and solar panel
View from the top showing the veranda, pergola, and solar panel
Play element in southern window is made from small bamboo that can slide along a steel cable
The play element in the southern window is made from small bamboo that can slide along a steel cable
Kids enjoying the cubby

Kids enjoying the bamboo cubby

Detail of circular bamboo screen made from cut bamboo pieces framed in timberDetail of circular bamboo screen made from cut bamboo pieces framed in timber
Detail of circular bamboo screen made from cut bamboo pieces framed in timberDetail of the circular bamboo screen made from cut bamboo pieces framed in timber
Looking out from the inside
Looking out from the inside

About Munir Vahanvati:

Munir Vahanvati
Munir Vahanvati

Munir is an architect and urban designer with more than 12 years of industry experience. He has been involved in working with bamboo for the last 10 years. He is passionate about designing and using the natural form of bamboo to create rhythmic structures that create a play of light and shade. In Nov 2013 Munir took on the role of Vice-President at the Bamboo Society of Australia.

About Giant Grass:

Giant Grass is a social enterprise focused on sustainability and hands-on learning through bamboo. In addition to designing and building structures out of bamboo, we regularly conduct Bamboo Construction Workshops in Melbourne and across Australia. For more information on our projects and workshops please visit us at www.giantgrassdesign.com

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