Design process


Our bamboo is carefully selected from the river valleys and mountains of the islands of Bali and Java in Indonesia. We 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 bamboo farmers to allow the younger shoots to grow to maturity for subsequent years’ harvests.

Harvesting bamboo with IBUKU


In the past bamboo buildings were susceptible to termites and Powder Post Beetle infestations that would eat the bamboo to dust. Our bamboo is treated with a boron solution, a naturally occurring salt solution that renders the bamboo indigestible to insects. It has a toxicity level just 1.5 times greater than that of regular table salt. The solution is re-used in a closed-loop system ensuring minimal impact on the immediate ecosystem.

Treating bamboo with IBUKU


Our design process occurs on the land and for the land. The houses are tailored to gently rest on their foundation, carefully set in the earth’s natural contour, so that they have minimal impact on the environment.

Instead of conventional blueprints, we create to-scale structural models made of hand-whittled bamboo sticks. These models are replicated in 3D line in computer programs for our engineers to study and confirm that the building adheres to our strict codes. The design process doesn’t end there. Our architects and engineers then follow the project in depth through completion to ensure structural integrity and longevity.

Bamboo house model by IBUKU

Like any natural fiber, bamboo must be protected from the sun and rain. The dramatic overhanging roof and tilting structural columns are designed to protect the villas for the long-term. To prevent moisture, our structural beams are secured by steel and concrete to large river rock stones. These are in turn secured within the earth’s foundation by steel rods reaching down several meters, as determined by our team of structural engineers.

“Bamboo buildings are like a living organism, every bamboo pole represents the ‘DNA’ of the building, each unique like real strands of DNA. The strands of the bamboo ‘DNA’ form a network structure, where each pole has its own specific function, be it in the walls, ceilings, stairs or roof. When they come together, to form a body, it waits to be given a soul by those inhabiting the building.”
—Defit Wijaya, Ibuku



Since the early days of Green School’s construction, we have collaborated with teams of skilled bamboo craftsmen, many of whom are descended from generations of wood and stone carvers. We are proud to be continuing and evolving this age-old tradition so it can live on in Bali. Onsite, these craftsmen measure and replicate the bamboo model, building these structures almost entirely by hand. Our 300 square meter (sqm) houses at Green Village Bali contain 8,100 running meters of bamboo, or approximately 1,200 poles. An additional 3,000 m is used in interior finishing.

PT. Bamboo Pure is IBUKU’s exclusive construction partner. PT Bamboo Pure is a Bali-based bamboo treatment facility and custom furniture workshop which brings IBUKU’s designs into reality.

IBUKU Green School bamboo model


While the structure is under construction, our interior design team custom designs furniture and interiors for each home we build. Our craftsmen combine their traditional skills with modern carpentry techniques to produce our all-bamboo furniture. They transform poles of bamboo into floors, walls, baskets, railings, beds, chairs, kitchens, ceilings, stairs, and tables.

Bamboo used in home construction by IBUKU

Other Materials

The main structure of the house is made of bamboo, however strong foundations are constructed from stone, concrete and steel. To ensure long-term weather resistance, roofs are made using bamboo shingles with an aluminum lining.

Interior accents are created using natural materials found in local environs, including giant stone slabs, beaten copper in bathrooms, paper walls, and hammered brass details, all handmade by local artisans using traditional techniques.