The founders of Green School gave the award winning design-firm, Ibuku, the task to build the world’s “Greenest School.”
Every step of the design and construction process was unique. Instead of traditional blueprints, architects build bamboo models to scale with bamboo sticks. The sticks were bent, cut, and woven until the perfect model was created. The usual onsite visual of bulldozers moving the earth was nowhere to be found. The land remained as it was. Buildings were designed to rise out of the earth’s natural contour, ensuring as little disturbance to the surrounding environment as possible.
Given both the setting of Bali and the sustainable task at hand, it is hardly surprising that Ibuku choose bamboo as their building material of choice. It is one of the fastest and most resilient growing plants on earth, and as such, environmentally-friendly. “With very few resources or attention, a bamboo shoot can become a structural column within three years,” says Elora Hardy, CEO of Ibuku. “And a building built from that bamboo could stand strong for a lifetime.” (View Slideshow)
The choice of bamboo, created strong buildings but also allowed for unique designs. Unlike the typical four-walled, cement classrooms, Green School rooms were woven together, creating spectacular webs of bamboo. Every formation there is unique and more complex looking than the last. Dynamic spirals and shapes spring from the ground creating spectacular open expanses, reflecting the magic spaces present within nature.
The designers, architects and local Balinese craftsmen behind these living structures have done an excellent job in imitating and integrating the beauty and complex perfection of the school’s tropical surroundings. Buildings weave harmoniously through the beautiful backdrop, integrating with the environment instead of standing apart from it. Aesthetically these bamboo structures entice a great sense of wonder and achievement. They are bamboo works of art that stand as a true testament to the creative potential and infinite possibility that lies within this resilient building material.
GBTV brings you the second in a series of guest blogs from Green School in Bali. Their first blog, Welcome to the Greenest School on Earth, was an introduction, not only to their building practices, but to their amazing concept in teaching. This blog takes us behind the scenes to the details of building with bamboo.