IBUKU is a team of young designers, architects and engineers exploring groundbreaking ways of using bamboo to build homes, hotels, schools, and event spaces in Bali, Indonesia. We are creating a new design vocabulary based on this one material and exploring the way sustainable architecture and design can redefine luxury. The materials we use, the people we work with, and the land we build on all inform our design process. The traditional skills of Balinese craftsmen, combined with our design ideas and modern engineering enable us to create original bamboo structures that meet the needs of a diverse clientele.
IBUKU’s goal is to provide spaces in which people can live in an authentic relationship with nature. We do this by designing fully functional homes and furniture that are made of natural substances and built in ways that integrate with nature. We give our projects detailed care and attention from start to finish, including bespoke interior furnishings. Ibuku has built over 60 bamboo structures in Bali, Indonesia, and around the region. Completed key projects include the Green School, Green Village, Sharma Springs, and Bambu Indah Hotel, which have appeared in international publications like Architectural Digest, Vogue and the Huffington Post. Upcoming projects are underway in West Africa, Lombok, and Bali.
How we started
IBUKU’s origins lie in the belief that bamboo can change the way we build. Bamboo has had a long tradition as a building material in Bali. In the 1980s, the arrival of young designers from western countries took bamboo building to an exciting new level. Linda Garland pioneered this movement, attracting international attention with her innovative designs in houses and furniture. She pioneered new treatment methods to preserve the bamboo and prolong its life.
Linda’s work also inspired her friend John Hardy to take a greater interest in bamboo. John soon came to see bamboo as the future of sustainable building and made a vow never to construct another wood or concrete building. John’s first serious bamboo building was conceived with architect Cheong Yew Kuan in a rice field full of tall umbul-umbul flags. Inspired by the natural curve of the bamboo, they tied the tips of the poles together into a towering arch. This ultimately became Kapal Bambu, the ‘bamboo ship’ showroom at the John Hardy compound in Bali.
In late 2007 John gathered a team to design and build the Green School. The first structure at Green School was a bridge, connecting the two sides of the river valley campus. It stands as an outstanding example of what is possible when architects, engineers, designers, and craftsmen come together to build in a new way. The construction of Green School led to many innovations in bamboo architecture and engineering. Joerg Stamm, a German builder who specializes in bamboo, was a key contributor to this process along with artist Aldo Landwehr. Together they were responsible for developing many of the design aesthetics and engineering concepts used by IBUKU today. Joerg developed the concept of creating central basket-like towers to hold up larger buildings, as well as the ‘Lidi’ concept, giving us access to our signature curvilinear vocabulary.
In 2010 Elora Hardy, John’s daughter, returned to Bali to continue the evolution of bamboo design under the name IBUKU. Together she and her team of talented Indonesian designers and architects have built sixty new bamboo structures in Bali. Nine of these buildings now make up Green Village, a community of luxurious private homes neighboring Green School. What we are doing 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. IBUKU continues to expand the potential of building exceptional bamboo structures.