Weekend Cabin: Green Village, Bali

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Bali’s Green Village isn’t just a remarkably refined jungle settlement, it’s a proof of concept and living laboratory on the powerful and sustainable nature of bamboo. Set along the Alung River about 25 minutes from Ubud and 35 minutes from the coast, the community (there are three houses so far) is an extension of the nearby Green School, which “teaches a modern curriculum layered with environmental education. Along with traditional subjects, children learn about environmental practices, renewable energy, aquaculture and organic farming through direct interaction with their surroundings,” says designer Elora Hardy.

Hardy is part of the design team at ibuku, which crafted the structures. She lived in Bali until age 14, spent the next 14 years in the States, and, a stint as fabric designer for fashion label Donna Karan, returned to Indonesia in 2010. Her goal, she says, is to make “Bali the global centre for bamboo building and innovation.”

“It allows us to build lightly on the land with a clear conscience. Bamboo is a strong, beautiful and flexible material with a short growth cycle. It grows plentifully in clumps and once established, these clumps grow a new generation of shoots each year. Bamboo requires little nurturing and few resources. If not harvested, a pole will lose density and disintegrate within 10 years, making room for younger generations and releasing the sequestered carbon back into the atmosphere. Harvesting and building long-term bamboo structures sequesters carbon and is extremely beneficial to the environment.”

That’s all very nice. Sustainability is how things should be. But the bottom line with the Green Village is that these shelters are gorgeous — organic, sensuous almost, and considered down to the last detail. The sophistication required working for a top fashion label is clearly evident in the design sensibility here. It’s great to feel good about where you sleep, but it’s just as important to feel good in it, too.

For more on Green Village, including information on renting the cabins for night, week, or year, visit Green Village Bali.

Architects: ibuku

Photography: Green Village

Remember, clicking on the magnifying glass enlarges the images.

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

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