Directed by : Richard Copans

It’s a school unlike any other, a building made entirely of bamboo on the Indonesian island of Bali, an ambitious project initiated by an American expatriate couple, John and Cynthia Hardy. They joined forces with a team of architects and artists in 2006 to build a school where everything would be invented from scratch: the educational approach, a green business model to protect the environment, and a new form of single-material architecture; a triple challenge.

Their first decision was to build the whole thing from bamboo, a traditional construction material in Bali, nicknamed “vegetal steel”.

The building consists of three juxtaposed roof cones bound together in one single fluid movement; “like a snail”, to use the designers’ description. The roof sections roll and unfurl, both accentuating the building’s unity and imbuing it with perpetual motion. They were inspired, paradoxically, by a Leonard da Vinci drawing.

Without perimeter or interior walls, the ventilation is completely natural, and the entire structure visible. Some bamboo stems rise vertically, some at oblique angles, but all are arranged symmetrically to support the balanced, sloping roofs. Several load-bearing structures intertwine, like those supporting the huge sections of roof and the upper storeys. It is a simple display of bamboo’s many qualities, and the columns range from 6 to 25 metres long. It’s an incredible sensation for the eye to be able to roam freely through the whole building and see behind this single material such an astonishing variety of views.

This is the largest of sixty buildings on campus and has become a benchmark for people wishing to create contemporary architecture using renewable materials.

fiche technique

With : Agence IBUKU

Author : Richard Copans

Photography : Richard Copans

Collection : Architectures

Manager of production : Clémentine Noël

Editing : Nicolas Milteau

Mixage : Sylvain Copans

Executive producer : Clémentine Noël

Partners : Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée & Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication DGP

Langue : Français & Anglais

Available version : Français & Anglais

Broadcaster : Arte France

Length : 26’

Format : HDCAM

ISAN : 0000-0001-9CE2-0049-7-0000-0000-G


Distributor : Arte France Distribution

From the same Director


In the same Collection


The same year