As an expert on the financial side of property investment, I’ve been depreciating bricks and concrete for most of my adult life. But it wasn’t until I arrived at Green School in Bali that I learned to appreciate bamboo as a building material.
Green School is a progressive international school from pre-kindy to Grade 12, which our daughter attended from 2018-2020 when my wife and I decided to embark on a “green change” to Bali.
Its campus is a stunning display of ground-breaking and award-winning architecture. Everything from its multi-level, wall-less classrooms, to the desks and chairs inside them, is made from bamboo.
Dominating the landscape is a three-storey central administrative building – aptly named the “Heart of School”. The roof is shaped in the form of three nautili spiralling into one another and is supported by three giant bamboo towers.
Not only can bamboo bend to form, but it also has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and can absorb up to 40% more carbon dioxide compared to trees. This makes it one of the most sustainable building materials on the planet.
Other impressive structures include a 23-metre bamboo bridge crossing the Ayung River. It has a traditional roof curved up at each end like the horns of a water buffalo.
The school’s most recent addition is The Arc, which forms the roof of its gym. It has a series of bamboo arches spanning 19 metres, interconnected by anticlastic grid shells which derive their strength from curving in two opposite directions.
Green School challenges perceptions of what a school should look and be like. To find out more about its unique campus and learning environment, grab a copy of Our Green Change: A Journey to Green School, Bali & Beyond.