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Bali Green School – The Ecocentric Curriculum Based School

It is indeed, an unexpected surprise for me to realize that I will be here. During my early architecture education years in university, we were asked to look into small projects, and that often came across bamboo, as we acknowledge that it is one of the most flexible and versatile construction materials (that’s not really acknowledged in Malaysia’s building industry). I recall that I could remember John Hardy’s TED talk and try to pick up all the details of the Green School that time, little I didn’t know, I would be here! Thanks to the company’s trip. I would not go into detail on the school curriculum, but I suppose from what you can observe from the built environment, the routine activities suggest a well biophilic designed environment enhance one’s experience on the ecocentric curriculum.

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Yes , everything from Bamboo. While in some other post which i will go into technical specific detail or analyzing the various unique points, i will let the pictures speak for themselves this time 😉 While some of you might think what is the entrance from outside to the school compound, here it is!

EntranceI would say what makes the school ‘green’ in a way is that it is located in a forest and surrounded by some small balinese villages. Upon walking further down from the trail, you arrive at the magnificent iconic bamboo bridge, spanning across easily 50 meters i suppose. That’s the first time i walk on a huge structure made on bamboo at last! The feeling was totally different from what you understood by looking at pictures, by feeling the scale and details of these structures, it really made you think again about engineering methodology for the bamboos. How do they know it will stand?

BridgePerspectiveWell, but actually it did not. There was a bridge previously made as well and collapsed due it was designed slightly lower. When it was monsoon season with high tide at the river beneath, the gushing river manage to catch a loose section of the structure and eventually pull the entire structure down. But, then it was rebuilt.

BridgefacingRiverThis entrance alone was an exciting spot for any architecture photographer. The amount of details on precising the axis symmetries is indeed what made the photo so interesting, especially the natural contrast between the bamboos themselves.
BridgeAfter the bridge, then you would pass by the farming area, maintained by the students.Farming

The series of flights of stairs leading us up to the school compound.

Steps And here comes the iconic structure of Green School, The Heart Of The School building, spanning over 60 meters long. This HUGE massive building fully supported by bamboo is a testimony to the scale of bamboo’s capability.  And mind you, experiencing it from looking at your desktop screen is much more different from what it feels like to be underneath of it.

SchoolPerspective Roof MainSchoolBlockBeautiful, and impressive precision engineering there, while the art of bamboo construction is a local culture among the balinese. There was no company specializing in bamboo construction or design. Thus when John Hardy started off the school, he also started off PT Bamboo aka IBUKU, check out their website’s portfolio, really amazing pictures of the interior finishing design from the bamboo appreciating the contrast in the  natural color scheme of bamboo.

MainBuilding Referring to the picture on the lower left, you see dozens of bamboo hanging from top, creating this maze of bamboo poles!
BambooHangingMore pictures at the Heart Of The School!

Bamboo Aesthetic

Some pictures of the signage around the school compound!

Signage I totally love this, Shoeless! Along this trip i was also reading Richard Louv’s The Last Child in The Woods, where he talks about saving children from nature deficit order. He also talks a lot about our revolution on built environment with the introduction of AirCond in schools and shoes have clearly reduce our children’s interaction with nature. So get your childten to the shoe-less environment and step on these natural made object!

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Some picture examples of the on going bamboo construction. Note the construction details of the basketball board stand as well.DetailsBamboo

More pictures on the details.. using bolt and nuts.. and in situ concrete. But mind you, these bamboos are huge in size, easily more than 100mm for most of them.Details DetailonPitching DetailKnotsAlong the school’s field, some nice recycled tyre swings.

TireSwingsAt the kindergarden area, nice swings!
Swingbytheclassroom The recently built sports arena, in this case, they used zinc roofing with bamboo structures.

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Another interesting sighting is having a stand alone PV for the ATM booth! Totally forgot that this school is located quite away from the city and it has students from all around the world that needs the access to ATM. Picture below showing the size of the current Green School staff.. the school currently has around 500 students.

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The street shot. The main corridor of the school compound.
Mainwalkway The School’s hall.

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The Canteen.Interestingly served on banana leafs as well.

LivingFoodLabOne of the many happy looking children.
HappySwing Among some notable green features in the school compound. Tetrapak joined in to show their corrugated roof made from recycled packagings. Also a track down on the amount of water used everyday and some bio friendly detergent.GreenExamples The interesting football post made of bamboo!

Footballpost of bamboo

The Living Wall they call it.. instead of expecting using bamboo poles to create a fence, what about planting one that is growing?

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 Pictures of the Classroom. Now, try imagining your class rooms with the 4 brick walls around with artificial lights. While this has ample of natural daylight and no sight obstacles to the surrounding at all. It’s a good example of the education for children, you can’t trap them in a 4 walled room expecting them to focus on your lessons, let their curiosity explore!

Classroom3Another example of classroom with their recyclable/waste sorting bags. Classroom2Another example of a standalone class room building 😉 Take a look at the design of the stools!
ClassRoom Speaking of activities, here’s one that so happened we came about, MUD FESTIVAL. It’s true that a lot of parents are too concern and pampered their children that they think going back into nature is dirty. Ironically we use these good healthy mud for our spas! Mud festival is to promote the natural way of having fun, mud wrestling!Mudpool

80% of the school’s energy is powered by renewable. They have Solar PVs, which i am not too sure how much kWp is there, but i do think that the layout design of the PV is disturbing as they are all self shaded against each other and does not have the best efficiency layout in terms of solar insolation.

SolarPV Also one of the only 3 mini vortex hydro power stations in the world. By channeling the stream’ into a vortex, the kinetic energy built up magnifies as the stream squeezes through the small hole in the middle by vortex means, and ultimately power up the turbine.Vortex

For more info on Green School, you can read them at their wikipedia page HERE. Or simply log into their school’s website HERE for more info on the curriculum. For more pictures, you can view my public FB photo album HERE. Do drop me a message if you need any HD picture for your studies etc, i wouldn’t mind!