Growing Bamboo Tower – Neema Biju Jose

We do not CREATE the work. i believe we, in fact are “DISCOVERERS”.

I’m Neema Biju Jose, an architecture student pursuing my IVth year internship
at Auroville Bamboo Centre.
Email Id:

Growing Bamboo Tower

The idea of the 50 feet growing tower was inspired from how the plants in nature put their leaves by moving spherically and creating a space for the next leaf to grow. Together with

golden ratio and Fibonacci numbers, the tower has been created with intense calculations and beautiful proportions. This design idea developed by Florian Görlitz is setting an example by demonstrating the potential of bamboo for multi-storeyed structures and its high tensile strength.

In nature, when plants grow, the leaves go up in a spiral, right to left or vice versa, growing in such a position that they create enough space for the next leaf to grow and the distance between the leaves are always in the golden ratio, 1.618. The tower also combines numbers from Fibonacci series 3,5,8,13…m

The tower actually is a combination of 3 towers.

The inner one having a radius of 1.57 meters and the middle one extending up to approximately 2 meters. The points are taken at an angle of 137.5*, the golden angle. If the first point is considered 0, the second point makes an angle of 137.5* with the first and this becomes point 1 and then the next point is at the golden angle again with the second point. This pattern repeats itself with every point slightly higher than the other. The spiral appears by connecting every 3rd, 5th and 8th point.

FIRST, we start with a dot on the ground – The tower will now grow on an imaginary line up to the sky (SECOND) – But first we will mark a circle (THIRD) around the dot – On this circle we have to build a ramp like a helix (FORTH).

To start, we have to build a “Growing Dome” to build a tip. Once that is done, additions are made and the structure grow tall in a rotational manner (on the ramp-like helix).   Not much power is needed to rotate because the height created is very little compared to the section length which its rotated upon.

The construction will be made of isosceles triangles only. But the two length have to be in a certain ratio together. To start with, the triangles on the inner tower has 2 members of length 1.476 and a shorter member of length 1.22

The same triangles are rotated to create the whole pattern of the inside tower. The same ratios are used to create the triangular modules that constitute the tower. Three lengths or more can be used. But the corner points of the triangles always mark points of the “golden angle” and the tower consists of 2 platforms.

When we have gone through the tower there is a sway at the top and it can be made stable by connecting 3 steel cable of 20mm diameter which is having a length of 14.5m and its expensive too.

The material used for the platform is coconut tree which easily and cheaply available but it doesn’t have the strength
Foundation of the steel cable to withstand the load.
It can be covered with a roof to protect from the climatic factors but the problem with implementing the roof is that it act as a wind catcher.

Varnishing can be done for durability and its expensive too.

The foundation is made by digging out the soil to a depth of 2’ and the bamboo is placed at a depth of 1’. The bamboo is kept in the plastic bottle at the bottom to resist it’s from termites.

Coming to the idea of water tank, it’s not possible to implement because the structure can bear a load approximately one ton.
The next idea that can be used is mobile tower but the problem with that is it doesn’t have enough height to serve the purpose of a tower because the tower needs a minimum height of 35m.
Hangout spaces may destroy the structure by the rough use of visitors and they may hang out with large number of people.
The better functionality the tower serves is accommodation in the first platform like it can be designed into a small room and solar panels in the second platform.


This tower is an example of most stable way to build domes and towers. The helix structure can also withstand earthquakes. Even if one element is broken, the structure is stable and does not crash down. This also depicts the structural stability of bamboo and its high tensile strength. The growing tower is also the result of continues hard work by all the volunteers who worked as a team, putting their blood and sweat into it. This tower design can be replicated and used for several purposes. We learned about joints and how to use power tools.
The tower is one of its kind and the application of the design is numerous. Working on this tower was a great experience with all the beautiful people that we’d cherish the whole while.

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