Elora Hardy is the founder of Ibuku, a firm that Defines sustainability in groundbreaking ways of using bamboo to build homes, hotels, and schools in Bali. The team is known for spellbinding designs showcasing utter versatility of the material. Everything from tiny nails to massive structural elements is constructed entirely in bamboo, pushing its structural and decorative capabilities to infinite limits. Balinese artisan’s traditional skills combined with modern engineering, create exemplary structures adding to the vernacular aesthetic of Bali. Best known for the world-renowned wall-less green school, they are leaving a legacy of buildings, having an authentic relationship with nature. The Ibuku team aspires to a future, where local communities around the world use this incredible material and set up indigenous industries of bamboo treatment and craftsmanship, to empower them and create sustainable living spaces.

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1. Sharma Springs Residence

Location: SibangGede, Bali
Site Area: 2602 sqm
Floor Area: 750 sqm
Construction: 12 months from December 2011- December 2012

Inspired by petals of a lotus flower, this design is the crowning glory of all residential projects by IBUKU. This six-story building is the tallest bamboo structure built in Bali. A spectacular 15-meter long bridge forms a tunnel entrance to the building. The project also includes a guest house, a riverside yoga pavilion, an outdoor spa, and a poolside barbecue, all surrounded by beautiful permaculture gardens. A central tower is a secret to its structural integrity. Every furniture in the house is custom made, and the counter slabs and shower stalls are crafted by master metalsmiths. Overlooking the Ayung river valley, this house is a jungle fantasy come true. The interiors are a testament to the infinite adaptability of bamboo

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2. Eclipse house

Location: Green Village, SibangGede, Bali
Site Area: 660 sqm
Main House: -/+ 180 sqm
Guest House: -/+ 100 sqm
Build Time: 12 Months
Completion: October 2018

Built primarily with black Petung bamboo, the Eclipse house is a three-story structure anchored to a forested slope in green village, central Bali. The striking circular portal entrance, which leads to the living room, is yet another rare use of laminated bamboo. The bedroom on the upper floor is enveloped with a latticed dome structure made of curved bamboo bands. A series of cascading terraces overlook a crescent-shaped pool and black sugar palms in the vicinity.

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3. Riverbend house at Bambu Indah

The structure is designed to look more like a nest that a home. Every facet of the structure is positioned to take in the verdant panorama and naturally blend into it. Space needed more than a 180-degree view, so the designers created a 220-degree view. It is not a picture-perfect view but scattered and broken up with staggering windows of varying scales. The salient form of the roof swooping from the ground is achieved through the grid shell system.

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4. Sundy Praia Beach Resort Restaurant, Principe Island.

Location: Sao Tome Principe Republic
Area: 150 sqm
Build Time: 2 months
Completion: April 2017

The Sundy Praia beach resort restaurant is a bamboo structure standing alone in forested land. Its unusual and organic form of the roof blends into the surrounding landscape. The structure, made of repeating A-shaped frames, diminishes towards the back end, forming an interesting interior volume. Intricately woven egg-shaped chandeliers brighten up the tunnel-like space, creating an intimate setting. The restaurant is located on the island of Principe, off the coast of West Africa. Parts were prefabricated and shipped off to the island from Bali.

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5. Green School Bali

Location: SibangKaja, Bali
Site Area: 45,000 sqm
Floor Area: 2,740 sqm
Build Time: 12 months ( May 2008 – May 2009)

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The green school is a revelation in the field of education. The building has truly taken advantage of the natural world to tap into the curiosity, empathy, and creative thinking skills of the children. Learning takes place in a completely sustainable environment with wall-less classrooms, and a structure built entirely out of bamboo. The campus includes an Innovation Hub—a maker’s space with woodworking equipment, 3D printers, and laser engravers—and a Project Hub, where students pitch project ideas to be used in the classroom. The school is capped with three nautili shaped roofs spiraling into one another. The furniture and seating are customs made, truly embodying the playful spirit of children.

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6. Ananda house

Location: SibangGede, Bali
Site Area: 716 sqm
Floor Area: 260,98 sqm
Build Time: 12 Months
Completion: September 2015

Ananda house consists of three multilevel structures with curving leaf-shaped roofs sweeping low around the sides. The sensation of the lush greens continues inwards as space is carved out in the roof to accommodate palm trees. The building accommodates living, bedroom and study, a massage room and a meditation loft all on separate floors. The lowest floor connects to an infinity pool by a recycled rubbed wood deck. The owner of the house notes, “All living spaces are extensions of each other.”

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7. Aura house

Location: Green Village, SibangGede, Bali
Client: Green Village
Site Area: 465.82 sqm
Main House: -/+ 100 sqm
Build Time: 12 Months
Completion: June 2018

The house is built along a ridge at the green village. An egg-shaped portal leads you to an interior that seems woven by birds. A perfection at biomimicry, the rooms are encased in blob-like forms made of interweaving bamboo stalks. The intricate bamboo details devised in the house are a testimony for its versatility as a material. The multi-level house towers above with the palm trees, adding to the vernacular aesthetic of the green village.

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8. Villa Kelapa

Location: SibangGede, Bali
Client: Individual
Site Area: 1425 sqm
Floor Area: 466 sqm
Bamboo Material Use (structure): 8500 m’
Completion: March 2011

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The traditional homes of the Minangkabau inspire Villa kelappa in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The house is sheltered by two dramatic curved and upswept gables stacked on top of one another. It has a large open living space and bedrooms, fully air-conditioned yet having a clear glass view into the wild. Stocks of bamboo are woven into the basket-like textures for walls and other furniture in the house.

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9. Permata Ayung spa

Location: Bongkasa, Bali
Client: Individual
Site Area: 875 sqm
Floor Area: 120 sqm
Build Time: 5 Months
Completion: September 2014

The site is set on a rivers edge, ideal for the peaceful and serene aura of the spa. A unique feature of the building is a teardrop-shaped massage pod suspended above the river on cables. The idea was to experience the river while being right in the middle of it. The undulating curved roof sweeping high at the ends ensures maximum visibility towards the outdoors. The furniture, made entirely of bamboo, is exclusively designed for comfort and relaxation.

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10. Copper house

The copper house, (named after its beautiful copper shingles) has the closest possible connection the guests can have with nature while also maintaining luxury features and facilities. The house is built around an existing tree. The rooms have a bamboo grid shell structure giving a very organic feel. It is designed to maximize the stunning view of the rivers and rice fields. This also promotes the use of natural light. The food gardens supply nearly 50% of the guest’s food requirements.

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11. Sumba hospitality foundation school

The school is built in Sumba, the most impoverished land in Indonesia. Teaching sustainable ways of living along with the curriculum, this a hospitality school built for the local students. The school encourages sustainable tourism while showcasing the potential applications of bamboo. The buildings are scattered over the expanse of land with permaculture gardens in between.

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12. Minang house

Location: Sayan, Bali
Client: Bambu Indah
Floor Area: 115 sqm
Bamboo Material Use (structure): 6500 m’
Build Time: 3 months
Completion: August 2007

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The Minang house reflects the exact proportions of a Sumatran clan house. A large hall sheltered with upwards sweeping roofs stacked over each other. It is built entirely of black bamboo. Serving as a multi-purpose hall, it accommodates guests attending events, yoga lessons, and special dinners.

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13. River warung

This cozy café is tucked into the riverside landscape of warung. The shell-like structure feels like an intimate and comfortable abode to snuggle into, in the wild. The structure was created with bamboo splits, bundled into one, for the main arches and other split weaves crossing each other for the solid roof support. The bamboo matting lining the roof and terracotta on the floor bounce sunlight off each other and glow warm in the afternoon. These materials are reminiscent of a traditional Balinese kitchen with earthy tones.

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River Warung ©www.ibuku.com

14. Moon house

The Moon house is an addition to Bamboo Indah, an eco-resort in Sayan, Bali. This crescent-shaped house has a direct view of the Ayung river and fresh nature. Bundled up bamboo splits form the main arches running between both ends, and crisscrossing bamboo weaves form the support for the roof.

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Visitors approach the structure through a serpentine path sitting in lush tropical gardens. The striking curve of the roof, a unique visual element, offers a little spark of delight while descending the pathway.

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15. Aldo’s kitchen

Location: SibangKaja, Bali
Client: Green School
Site Area: 45.000 sqm
Floor Area: 500 sqm
Bamboo Material Use (structure): 12.000 m’
Completion: September 2007

The structure was a precursor to many of Ibuku’s experiments with bamboo. The concepts used here were the earliest expressions of Hardy’s characteristic principles. The Green School is an extrapolation of this original design. Aldo’s kitchen is three stories high, structurally held by a central tower, and sheltered with a spiraling roof. It includes a basement and a secret underground tunnel. Currently, it houses the Ubuku design team.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022