When in the summer of 2012 I first visited the Green School in Bali with my parents as tourists, little did it come across my mind that two months later, I would be studying in that magnificent bamboo structure in the middle of the jungle.
It was the buildings of Green School that first brought me and my parents to Bali. Green School has made its mark as a prominent structure in modern bamboo architecture. My dad had met it’s founder John Hardy, a jewellery businessman who sold most of his entrepreneurial ventures into the founding of the school, at a conference in Thailand.
The most prominent of the buildings in Green school is the Heart of School building. The Heart of School, as the name suggests, functions as the central hub of the school. It is a three- storeyed bamboo structure shaped like a combination of three spirals and is the largest building in school. Most of the high school classrooms, administrative offices, the library and computer lab are situated in the Heart of School.
The Millenium Bridge is another iconic structure of Green School. The hand-built Bridge consists of 192 bamboo poles to symbolize the world’s numerous countries and was entirely funded by donations. The team not only used local materials, but also implemented ancient and traditional building techniques. The bridge connects the campus of the school to Bamboo Village, the Student Boarding programme and the Green Camp accomodation the other side of the river.
The original buildings at Green School campus (including Heart of School and Mepantigan) were created by am international team of designers, builders, and craftsmen gathered by John Hardy for the project. Joerg Stamm, a German builder who specializes in bamboo, along with artist Aldo Landwher, were key contributors in this process. Many of these designers, builders and craftsmen later joined the Ibuku brand when it was founded in 2010, and are based out of the PT Bamboo Pure workshop.
Ibuku, lead by Elora Hardy, is an architecture firm that thinks outside the box to design and build sustainable, beautiful yet practical buildings with bamboo. She and her team of talented Indonesian designers and architects have built over forty new bamboo structures in Bali.
The construction of Green School and other structures including the Green Village has led to numerous innovations in bamboo architecture and engineering today. From it’s founding in 2006, Green School has won a number of allocades including being nominated for the 2010 Agha Khan award for Architecture.
Do check out this link for an incredible 360 degree photo tour of all spaces in Green School – http://www.greenschool.org/general/photos-videos/360-photo-tour/
Looking back, I feel incredibly privileged to have gone to school in one of the most unique structures on Earth ! Even though the classrooms sometimes leak noise and the conditions get hot and sweaty, the beauty and uniqueness of Green School make up for it. Over the last 2 years, Green School has helped me lead a life of minimum carbon footprint, given me enormous exposure to global issues and confidence to find my own voice, in one of the most unusual and open educational environments in the world!
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