The Green School

The Green School
The Green School

Here’s some information that might prove inspirational if you’re incorporating bamboo into your earthbag design.

Deep within the jungles of Bali, a school made entirely of bamboo seeks to train the next generations of leaders in sustainability.

In a swath of jungle near Ubud, Bali, the Green School has just finished the second year of operation. The gong announces the beginning of class, where students learn in bamboo pavilions without walls. A hen and two chicks scuttle across the earth floor of the ampitheatre. The staff has just cleared the remaining banana-leaf plates used to serve the organic lunch. In a groundup approach, all of the campus structures, 30 and counting, are handcrafted from bamboo, connecting the design to the pedagogical core of the school.

American Cynthia and her partner, Canadian designer John Hardy, have lived on Bali for over thirty years. In 2007, after selling their renowned jewelry company, they formed a school as an alternative to the walled-in international schools around Bali. Based upon the 19thcentury education model of Rudolf Steiner, which emphasizes experiential learning, the Green School aims to educate future leaders in sustainability. This year, the school enrolls nearly 200 students, from nursery school to Grade Twelve.

In making the school, John Hardy did not turn to the international architecture competition circuit. Instead he hired an eclectic team of designers and artists, as well as architects who specialize in bamboo. The late Aldo Landwehr, a Swiss sculptor who was based in Bali, became the first design director. Hardy sketched the masterplan and established the company now known as PT Bamboo Pure to design, build and furnish the school.

Source: The Green School – An architecture report by Caroline James

4 thoughts on “The Green School”

  1. HI! Awesome! How inspiring! I’m an art therapist and beginner Earth bag builder, travelling to Bali (Ubud) at the end of the month, and I’m looking for some sustainable community projects to volunteer on – I love the concept of your school, however education is not my area – are you able to give me any other leads to community projects in Bali? Especially ones that centre around providing therapy?

      • Most sources recommend soaking the bamboo (harvested at the right time when starch levels are low) in a solution of boarax.

        We’re also looking for a group who is experienced with local bamboo. Some varieties work much better than others. I’m hoping to find some of the really good bamboo from Vietnam: This company gets their bamboo from Vietnam and has obtained international building code approval. The group I’m working with may grow their own bamboo of the same variety.


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