Earth’s geological, biological and ecological systems all are holding big arrow signs that point in the direction of demise. An earth with no sustainable resources to harbour life is where we are headed and while most of us only read about it – shrug to the thought and then go back to using plastic bags to put our shopping in, a neighbourhood on the island of Bali is dedicated to building homes almost entirely out of bamboo – a material that is very sustainable and causes no harm to the already depleting environmental health.
Read below the account of Ari Beser’s visit to The Green Village and it’s how’s and why’s.
BALI, Indonesia: How do you build a future out of grass? On the Indonesian island of Bali, one organization has set out to do just that. Ibuku, an architecture and furniture design firm based outside of Denpasar, Bali’s capital, is using Dendrocalamus asper bamboo—or petung in Balinese—to construct Green Village.
Green Village was inspired by the design of Green School, an eco-friendly academy founded by John Hardy, the father of Elora Hardy, Ibuku’s founder and creative director. Ibu in Balinese means Mother, and ku means mine. Ibuku’s philosophy is similar to Green School’s desire to maintain a relationship with Mother Earth and the environment and delicate ecosystem that surrounds them.
According to a statement by Ibuku, “Bamboo is a flexible and tensile material with the strength equivalent to steel. We account for the flexibility in the engineering process and work to ensure our bamboo maintains its integrity over time. Bamboo is plentiful in river valleys throughout Asia, and the clumps regenerate each year. Bamboo is ready for use as a building material at age 3-5 years.”
While bamboo has been used worldwide in construction and craftsmanship for millennia, its structures don’t typically last long enough to be seen as a material worth permanence. Ibuku’s answer to this problem is a boron solution that suppresses glucose levels and renders it inedible for insects. According to Ibuku’s team, “If the bamboo is chosen well, treated properly, designed carefully and maintained, a bamboo house can last a lifetime. The bamboo houses are designed and built to avoid prolonged sun and rain exposure and are varnished with a weather-resistant coating.
Historically and traditionally bamboo has been used as the instinctive and most available material used for just about anything in tropical regions. According to Ibuku’s Lead Architect Ewe Jin Low, “You step out, grab a bamboo stick and do what you want with it. It being so accessible on the island has made it possible for Ibuku to do what we do. All of the skills are there. Local Balinese people who construct these houses can go out to their community with their knives and volunteer their time for three hours to construct something.”
Ibuku is evolving what it means to be Balinese. The architecture firm has positioned itself to be another layer of Balinese culture, a layer created by people from around the world inspired by Bali and attracted there. The natural forms created by local craftsmen and architects has resonated with people around the world.
The refreshing scenic beauty of this place will take your breath away and creators onboard The Spatial Intensive will go on a private property tour of The Green Village and other architectural wonders in December 2018.
The entire article can be found at the National Geographic Blog (here). Photos by Ari Beser.