23 March – From The New York Times: When Macarena Chiriboga came to Bali in 2009, she had just finished a master’s degree in architecture in the US doing her thesis on the use of bamboo as a building material.
The trip was meant to be a vacation. But drawn by the unusual architecture of a school on the island — the Green School, whose buildings are all made from bamboo — she was soon back, and is now designing buildings for a “green village” being built by the developer Ibuku International about an hour’s drive from the Indonesian island’s beaches.
With Effan Adhiwira, a 28-year-old Indonesian who is senior architect and also oversees construction at Green School, the Ibuku team is creating a collection of structures that look more like treehouses and pirate ships than luxury villas.
But they are actually luxury villas. Perched on huge bamboo poles, and overshadowed by lush green jungle on the edge of the rock-strewn Ayung River, they have multiple, verandah-like levels, beautifully designed kitchens and bathrooms and very few walls.
“People tend to have this assumption that luxury is all about air-conditioning and technology, about owning a big car — but luxury can also be about feeling the wind blow right through your house, being in contact with nature and walking around barefoot in your home,” said Ms. Chiriboga, 26. “These houses are all about allowing people to realize their dream of sustainable living, of experiencing a whole different lifestyle.”
Three dozen buildings will ultimately form the “Green Village,” which is going up on three hectares, or almost 7.5 acres, of land. One has been completed, and its owner is moving in next week. A second is expected to be finished in a few weeks and several more in the next few months. Five homes have been sold already and the sales of at least four more are being negotiated.
Giant, 18-metre each about 25 centimetres wide support the roofs and several layers of open-plan floors. Some jut out, mast-like, at odd angles. Smaller, slimmer poles form open-sided stairs that lead from one platform-like level to the next — three or four in each house.
The flooring, the roofs, the banisters that fence in the terrace-like living spaces, but leave the sides open — everything is made of bamboo, lightweight, bendable, super-tensile and specially treated to protect it from the ravages of insects and humidity.
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