Bamboo Burner Tent

post by Chris Chalmers

I just returned from burningman (yup, another burner in SF)

While there, I bravely (rashly?) sheltered myself (and my extended family) in what was really nothing more than a thinly disguised material test for a previous studio project. I designed this tent using a script I wrote for Rhino that modeled bamboo hoops in a cross-braced lattice pattern (download it here).

the bamboo was held together using heavy duty zip-ties..

The bamboo’s ends were slid over 1/2″ bolts attached to unistrut at 2 foot intervals. The unistrut was staked to the ground with 2′ long pieces of rebar. Velcro strips were glued to the unistrit with epoxy (hard to see because of dust), and held down the bottom of the canvas cover.
Here’s what the inside looked like: decorated by my wife and her mom. Notice the vent holes opened in the velcro joint between canvas strips @ left. Velcro attachment of the canvas made it possible to open up vents almost anywhere. Handy, but was also our eventual undoing because they let in too much dust.
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2 thoughts on “Bamboo Burner Tent

  1. hi there, i stumbled upon your post and love what you built. i’m creating an art project for the burn and would love the contact for where you sourced bamboo poles. your help is appreciated. thx.

    • I got them at a tiki supply company in Benicia called tiki focus, which sadly has gone out of business. Back in 2008, I found other tiki supply companies that had large bundles of 1″ poles at good prices but none so close. One was Mainlanders in San Diego.
      I had also found some bamboo nurseries in Santa cruZ that offered to let me come down and pick through their cuttings, but they couldn’t promise a large quantity with consistent size.

      If you do go the tiki route, you should know that I had a lot of cracking in the extremely dry playa environment. You might consider Pre-soaking the poles before constructing anything that involves bending.

      Best of luck!!

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