We have never seen more unique and special than the bamboo creations by Ibuku Bali run by Elora Hardy and the Ibuku team.
The Ibuku Story
IBUKU is a team of designers and builders who aspire to make the most of bamboo and local talented craftspeople and young minds. We believe that bamboo’s potential is underestimated. It should be used to house many more people, especially in the tropics. We work hard to draw out beauty from this abundant wild grass. The traditional Balinese craftsmen work closely with our designers to develop a balance of ancient and new ideas. It also takes significant modern engineering to create original bamboo structures that meet our highest standards. Elora Hardy leads IBUKU’s vision and sustainable design. In 2010 Elora returned to her childhood home in Bali. Together she and her team of talented Indonesian designers and architects have built over forty new bamboo structures. They include Green Village, parts of Green School and other projects, mostly on the island.
Meet The creative mind behind Ibuku
Elora is the creative director of IBUKU. She leads a team of skilled artisans, architects, engineers, and designers to create homes, structures, and interiors crafted of bamboo. Raised on the beautiful island of Bali, Elora was inspired by the highly skilled local craftsmen as well as her parents’ talented jewelry designs. She spent 14 years of her young adult life in the United States, where she received a degree in fine arts and went on to New York City to design prints for Donna Karan that would walk the world’s runways. In 2010, Elora left her successful career in the fashion world to carry on the incredible work of the design-build team that created the world-renowned Green School in Bali, founded by her father John Hardy. She reconnected with the culture and landscape that she loves and today continues to cultivate Balinese artisans alongside innovative designers and architects with the goal of making Bali a global center for sustainable design and bringing those designs to the rest of the world.
So why Bamboo?
“So why Bamboo? Bamboo is the future. It is the most beautiful, versatile, tallest and strongest material that we could possibly choose. The rainforest is almost gone, plywood is mostly made from the rainforest and cement has a carbon load that is not going to help the future. That leaves bamboo and if children plant bamboo today in eight years they will have timber ready to go and they will get timber every year for the rest of their life to build anything they need”
We build because we believe in bamboo. Its strength, beauty, flexibility, 4-year growth cycle, and carbon sequestration capacity make it the most environmentally conscientious building material conceivable. Though bamboo has traditionally been used throughout Asia in short-term structures, new treatment methods have given it a capacity for longer life. Our engineers, architects and designers have created a completely new design vocabulary. Not only is bamboo good for the environment, but it also helps the people living in the space to connect with nature.
Throughout Asia, bamboo has always been regarded as sacred, symbolizing grace, strength, flexibility, endurance and longevity. The mystique and beauty of the bamboo forest is one of the most common themes for paintings and jade carvings. Ancient Chinese literature held bamboo in profound esteem: “When the storm comes, the bamboo bends with the wind. When the storm ceases, it resumes its upright position.” Bamboo is a symbol of the harmony between nature and human beings.
Bamboo is strong, with the compressive force of concrete and the strength-to-weight ratio of steel.
With very little attention, a bamboo shoot can become a structural column within three years, and that building could stand strong for a lifetime.
With its three-year growth cycle and carbon sequestration it is a uniquely efficient and responsible resource. Even sustainable timber can’t begin to compare with bamboo as a conscientious building material.
Though bamboo has traditionally been used throughout Asia, new treatment methods have given it a longer lifespan. IBUKU’s bamboo, selectively harvested from local sources, is treated ecologically, then lab tested to confirm its durability and integrity.
The bamboo is carefully selected from the river valleys and mountains of Bali and Java. They harvest from clumps that, once established, grow a new generation of shoots each year. It takes just a few months for a new bamboo shoot to reach its full height, and in three years it becomes timber ready for harvest. IBUKU takes great care to ensure that only the mature poles are harvested, creating an incentive for the farmers to allow the younger generations to grow to maturity for subsequent years’ harvests.
In the past bamboo buildings were susceptible to termites and powder post Beetle infestations that would eat the bamboo. The Ibuku Bamboo is treated with a boron solution. It is a naturally occurring salt solution that renders the bamboo indigestible to insects. It has a toxicity just 1.5 times that of regular table salt. The solution is re-used in a closed-loop system.
Ibuku design on the land, for the land. Instead of conventional blueprints, Ibuku create scale structural models made of hand-whittled bamboo sticks. These models are replicated in 3D line in the computer for our engineers to study and confirm. The design process doesn’t end there. Ibuku architects and engineers follow the project in depth through completion to ensure structural integrity and longevity.
Since the early days of Green School’s construction. Ibuku have collaborated with teams of skilled bamboo craftsmen, many of whom are descended from generations of wood and stone carvers. Ibuku are proud to be continuing and evolving this age old tradition. Onsite, the craftsmen measure and replicate the bamboo model, building these structures almost entirely by hand.
While the structure is in progress, Ibuku interior design team custom designs furniture and interiors for each home they build. Ibuku craftsmen combine their traditional skills with modern carpentry techniques to produce their bamboo furniture. They transform poles of bamboo into floors, walls, baskets, railings, beds, chairs, kitchens, ceilings, stairs, and tables.
Ibuku is reinventing the rules and standards of what a building can look like. These buildings are a testament to the power of bamboo and the possibilities of sustainable architecture.
To contact Ibuku, Click here
See some of Ibukus stunning creations below