The Bamboo Garden Library in Malaysia

Situated within the grounds of the Bamboo Playhouse at the Perdana Botanical Gardens, one of the oldest areas in Malaysia, this little structure offers free books to the visitors at the park and it is built in conjunction with the capital city of Malaysia being named as the World Book Capital for the year 2020 by the Director-General of UNESCO.

Designed by Eleena Jamil Architect (EJA) the library follows the design of a little ‘playhouse’ with bamboo as its main material. The aim here is also to demonstrate the versatility of sustainable material. The micro-library has a footprint of 1.2 by 2.0 metres. It is made from local bamboo clumps and colourful polycarbonate sheets.

The poles are arranged vertically and tied together to form the shape of a little house with a ‘carved-out internal rectangular space for accessing books placed on shelves.  The polycarbonate sheets are cut to different sizes and fixed to metal frames. Together they act as a ‘raincoat’ to prevent the culms from deteriorating by shielding them from direct sun and rain.  The micro-library is designed mainly for children and holds books for younger children.

The work that comes out of this conscious architectural firm is rooted in the space they occupy and as the firm continues to grow, the architect aspires to create more research-based, design-led architecture that is contemporary and rooted in its context, at all scales. “Often, my work is inspired by patterns seen in cultural artefacts or patterns of movement and habit. Patterns that arise from responses to the local climate are particularly interesting to me. I believe that understanding these patterns is important in connecting a building to a place,” says Eleena Jamil about the work she has been involved in, “For instance, we use bamboo in a lot of our projects. It’s a wonderful building material – cheap, strong, sustainable, and very light. We also love local timber, but it is used in the way that all precious things should be used: sparingly and with consideration.”

Projects by EJA studio are informed by the desire to root them to place by way of exploring the experiential potential of form, material and construction and a concern for the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability.

Project Information

Location: Perdana Botanical Gardens Kuala Lumpur

Completion Year: 2020

Project Duration: 6 weeks

Size: 2.8m x 1.4m x 3.6m

Photography by GARISPXL.CO

Client: Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (CSR initiative by the architect)

Design team: Eleena Jamil, Bahirah Rahman, Yow Pei San, Cheah Zhi Bin

Builders: JR Jatidiri Sdn Bhd, Bamboo Jungle Adventures