Talks to Elora Hardy, Founder of Ibuku, About the Creative and Sustainable Potential of Bamboo We’ve showcased numerous bamboo designs over the years, from furniture to entire buildings, but when it comes to combining green building and renewable materials, Ibuku’s incredible bent-bamboo buildings take the cake. The Bali-based bamboo building team already has luxury villas, houses, schools and infrastructure buildings in their portfolio, and is renowned for their dedication to using traditional Indonesian building techniques. We spoke with the firm’s founder and CEO, designer Elora Hardy, about vernacular architecture traditions, her involvement with designing bamboo buildings, and the reasons behind her vocational change from high-end fashion to sustainable architecture Photo by Rio Helmi INHABITAT: Before founding Ibuku, you had a successful career in fashion. What prompted this change in direction? Elora: I visited Green School just as construction was completing in 2010, and it blew my mind. INHABITAT: Can you describe the dynamic of your design and construction process? + Ibuku
The Green School Showcases The Incredible Potential of Bamboo Construction in Indonesia The Green School was established side-by-side with the non-profit Meranggi Foundation, which develops bamboo plantations by presenting seedlings to local rice farmers. The project also harnessed the talents of PT Bambu, an architecture firm specializing in bamboo architecture. PT Bambu is responsible for the bamboo portion of the Green School’s campus, which consists of four classrooms, a drop-off center, faculty housing, offices, cafes, bathrooms, a gym, and the Heart of the School, a spiraling, multi-story building for school functions. Along with the beautiful bamboo construction, the eco-school’s curriculum focuses on sustainability and offers many scholarships to local Balinese children. + PT Bambu + The Green School Photo credits: PT Bambu and Ahkamul Hakim
Tour This Incredible Green Village in Bali of All-Bamboo Homes, Crafted By Ibuku Ibuku (formerly called PTBambu), a design-build firm located outside of Bali’s cultural center of Ubud, is the visionary behind both the Green School and the Green Village. So far one home in the community has been built and is a spiraling canopy of bamboo set amidst the lush jungle above the river. Everything is made from bamboo, from the window frames to the staircase, tables, chairs, floors, and even the cabinets and the walls. The amazing craftsmanship in this home exemplifies what is possible with the fast-growing, renewable material. Green Village is within walking distance of the Green School and is built with the same principles of sustainability. + Green Village + Ibuku Artist Weaves Together Massive Basket-like Bamboo Tunnel for Australian Music Festival A big challenge at music festivals is finding shelter from the heat and sun, but a sprawling bamboo art installation gave attendees at last year's Woodwork Folk Festival plenty of shade to stand under. Taiwanese sculptor Wang Wen-Chih teamed up with the Sydney-based architecture and design-collective Cave Urban to create Woven Sky, a 300-foot-long shaded tunnel and tower installation in Woodford, Australia. Woven together from locally harvested bamboo and radiata pine logs, the sprawling tunnel took 40 workers and volunteers three weeks to build. Located north of Brisbane, the Woodford Folk Festival is an annual music festival that celebrates a wide variety of music genres for six days and six nights. Built as the entrance to the festival’s main amphitheater, Woven Sky was constructed from materials that Wen-Chih and the architects harvested within a 12-mile radius of the site. Related: 5,000 Arms to Hold You: Starn Brothers Build the World’s Largest Bamboo Construction + Wang Wen-Chih
Penda's Low-Impact Modular Bamboo Hotel Reconnects Visitors with Nature To satisfy the competition’s three principles, Penda used locally sourced and fast-growing bamboo as the primary building material. Inspired by the minimalist teepees of the nomadic Native American tribes, the temporary and elevated bamboo structure eschews screws and nails. Instead, the structure comprises a grid of sturdy X-shaped bamboo joints that supports the addition of both vertical and horizontal bamboo rods, making it easy to create a variety of triangular room sizes that accommodate the needs of guests. Related: Penda’s Wooden Donut-Shaped House O is Inspired by a Tree Trunk To create a comfortable and unique experience for the hotel guests, Penda drew inspiration from the spirit of exploration in nature. + Penda Via Dezeen Images via Penda
Documentary reveals Vo Trong Nghia, Vietnam's visionary bamboo architect Rapidly developing nations are a wild frontier of sorts for sustainable design and architecture; often building codes are lax or non-existent here, allowing local architects to experiment more freely with unconventional ideas and materials. Vietnamese firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects is one of these pioneers, having made their name with their award-winning projects made out of bamboo, as part of a larger movement to re-define a locally appropriate architecture that is distinctly Asian, affordable, durable and environmentally friendly. In this episode of Rebel Architecture, Al Jazeera English's six-part series on architects who are “shunning the glamour of ‘starchitecture’ and using design to tackle the world’s urban, environmental and social crises,” director Nick Ahlmark takes us behind the scenes to see for ourselves what Nghia's bamboo buildings mean in the larger context of Vietnam and beyond. © Vo Trong Nghia Architects © Vo Trong Nghia © Vo Trong Nghia via Designboom
Deformed Dome: Bamboo Hut Builds on a Modeling Mistake People marvel at the final digital renderings and physical representations created by architects and architecture students. Rarely, however, does the public get get to see the study models that are an essential part of the design process – even rare still: a finished product clearly based on a mistake that was made. This remarkable project was borne out of an error in the model-making process that became a real-life building opportunity. A student of?Pouya Khazaeli Parsa thought building a dome was fairly straightforward, and started creating one with full-length poles arcing up toward the center and back down along the opposite edge. Instead of starting over, the student finished the model – the dynamic form was surprisingly compelling, and provided a shell-like opening along one end. Bamboo provides the structural framework, remaining alive and flexible during construction (hence the green in the images).
Tiny Houses Made Of Bamboo, Hiding Inside Abandoned Hong Kong Factories With more than 7 million people living within a little over 400 square miles, Hong Kong doesn’t have much space for new housing. It’s also an incredibly expensive place to live--so much so that the poorest residents often end up renting tiny, rundown “cage homes” that are only big enough for a bed. Architects from AFFECT-T now hope to help with a new set of modular bamboo homes that can be built as a mini-neighborhood inside old factories and other former industrial buildings. The factory walls would provide protection from weather and insulation, along with hookups to city services. “Residents of these small structures would live in the city center--able to use public transportation, and close to shopping, family, and jobs,” says Dylan Baker-Rice, principal at AFFECT-T. Each small house is made with bamboo because it’s strong, lightweight, and easily available; it was once commonly used for housing in the area and is still often used for scaffolding.
Traditional Bamboo Floating Homes Updated A Vietnamese architecture firm with a portfolio of modern public buildings has turned its hand to perfecting indigenous low-cost houses. In contrast to the very-low-cost housing ideas we’ve covered recently, this one relies mainly on a local material that can be grown sustainably: bamboo. It’s a modular design which they say could be mass-produced; on the other hand, individual units could also be owner-built on site. H&P Architects estimate their homes could be built for $2000. They posted their design, “Low-cost bamboo housing in Vietnam,” on Designboom, providing lots of wonderful graphics but minimal text. Two bamboo houses. The houses can be either floating—using recycled oil drums as floats—or terrestrial. The architects paid a lot of attention to air flow, as these houses will be unconditioned in a hot climate. Wall constructions details. Bamboo is a grass, botanically speaking, much larger than most grasses. Village of bamboo housing.
Appropriate Building Materials: a Catalogue of Potential Solutions: Examples of building systems: Bamboo houses • The examples of bamboo houses shown on the following pages are taken from the excellently illustrated bamboo construction manual by Oscar Hidalgo Lopez (Bibl. 24.07). • All the structural components and most of the non-structural parts (floors and wall cladding) are made of bamboo. Only very little timber is used and the roof covering can be of any suitable, locally available material (eg thatch, fibre concrete, ferrocement, metal sheeting, cement mortar, or even stabilized, water-resistant soil mortar). • The bamboo components are joined either by means of lashing materials, dowels, bolts or nails. • On account of its low resistance to biological attack and fire, protective measures are necessary (see section on Bamboo). Further information: Oscar Hidalgo Lopez, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Apartado Aereo 54118, Bogota, Colombia. Construction of a Coffee Plant (also suitable for dwelling) (Bibl. 24.07) Positioning of the supports and erecting the structural framework
Bamboo Micro House proposed to shelter Hong Kong's homeless In a bid to ease the plight of the homeless living in Hong Kong and other cities throughout southeast Asia, architectural studio AFFECT-T recently designed the Bamboo Micro-House prototype. The firm proposes that the tiny bamboo dwellings, which can be placed nearby other units to form small communities within Hong Kong's disused industrial buildings, would serve as temporary shelter while the occupants secure more stable and permanent public housing. Gizmag has featured several low-cost bamboo housing prototypes before, including the Blooming Bamboo home and the Bamboo Lakou vision for Haiti, but the units designed for this project are on a much smaller scale. The idea is that numerous units could be combined into larger groupings making them suitable for individuals, couples or families. There are also other designs slated for construction, including larger units and one suitable for disabled people. Source: AFFECT-T via Arch Daily