In 2017, IBUKU completed a project at Bambu Indah — the eco-resort founded by Cynthia and John Hardy in Sayan, Bali. John and Elora worked together to design the new riverside cafe.

For years we walked past the ponds on our way to the river, only occasionally dipping in and held a few magical parties down there. Then it occurred to Dad to clean the ponds and patch them up a bit, and now they are pools of pristine spring water.

Because of the elevator, it’s suddenly a space that feels easy to get to, and once we started spending time down there we never wanted to leave. So, into the terraces of the slope, we imagined a shape. Joerg Stamm was visiting and shared an idea of arches made of splits of bamboo.

Into the hillside we tucked a storage room, and above it a cozy basket space overlooked by a Balinese kitchen. We thought about where on the terrace we wanted to face when we sit and look out at the pools. There isn’t any direction of view that we wanted to give up, so the structure needed to be beautiful enough to deserve to be part of the view.

The riverside is quite wild, with rugged stones and vines and ripples of water, so we made our basket a cozy warm nest to snuggle into. The arches are arranged like they grew naturally, but in an orderly way. The bamboo matting lining the roof and the terracotta on the floor bounce sunlight off each other and glow warm in the afternoon, and even more so in the evening when the kitchen fires are burning and the old filament bulbs are on.

These materials remind us of a traditional Balinese kitchen — earthy tones, low bench seating, but swirled and softened to nestle into the site. The cooks prepare spices and chop vegetables nearby, while guests enter past the kitchen and watch the preparations for the feast.

— Elora Hardy, Creative Director

Inspired by Balinese traditional kitchen combined with a new system of the bamboo structure by IBUKU Team, the structure was created with simple split bundles tied into one for the main arches and other split weaves coming up from the ground and crossing each other to become a strong and solid roof support for River Warung’s organic roof shape. From the initial sketches to the final structure it took 4 months.

  Bambu Indah, Sayan, Bali
  River Warung