Ibuku’s The Arc at Green School in Bali raises the bamboo roof

Phenomenal bamboo roof defines The Arc at Green School, an impressive education building in Bali designed by local studio Ibuku

Wavy roof at Arc at Green School by Ibuku with bamboo roof
The Arc, an educational building at Green School in Bali, with its undulating bamboo roof
(Image credit: Tommaso Riva)

The Green School in Bali is known for its finely tuned programme that follows children from early years through to secondary education, infused with a focus on creativity, the arts and ecological responsibility. Founded by John and Cynthia Hardy in 2006 and built around the principles of sustainable architecture, the school is a unique take on education; and now, it can also boast a brand new structure in its midst. The Arc, designed by local design and architecture studio Ibuku, headed by Elora Hardy, has recently been completed, offering a fresh visual shorthand for education architecture and the school's green identity through its pioneering, green bamboo roof. 

The project was designed to host a wellness space and gymnasium for the school campus. Whimsical but sturdy, beautifully undulating as well as light and dynamic – almost like the bamboo version of a boat's billowing sails in the wind – the roof is thin and balanced, and feels organic and close to nature. The trick was marrying traditional, age-old techniques for building with bamboo, and new technologies, Hardy, explains. 

Bamboo roof is both inspired and eco-friendly

Interior structure of the roof, a bamboo structure with arches from floor to ceiling.

(Image credit: Tommaso Riva)

The structure is a feat of engineering, taking bamboo architecture to a whole new level, including bespoke elements and intensely researched building methods. It is created ‘from a series of intersecting 14m-tall bamboo arches spanning 19m, interconnected by anticlastic gridshells that derive their strength from curving in two opposite directions,' the Ibuku team explain. The masterful designs were refined in collaboration with German carpentry specialist Jörg Stamm and structural engineers Atelier One.

‘The Arc operates like the ribs of a mammal's chest, stabilised by tensile membranes analogous to tendons and muscles between ribs. Biologically, these highly tensile microscopic tendons transfer forces from bone to bone. In The Arc, bamboo splits transfer forces from arch to arch,' says Stamm.

Drawing on the local architecture vernacular, as well as organic design, mixed with cutting-edge engineering, The Arc at Green School in Bali is an eco-friendly design, proudly showcasing the power and beauty of nature and geometry.

A birds-eye view of the arches and surrounding greenery.

(Image credit: Tommaso Riva)

An aerial view looking through foliage towards the roofs of the arches.

(Image credit: Tommaso Ravi)

Close-up view of the bamboo arch roof.

(Image credit: Tommaso Ravi)

Interior of roof structure with diamond shape bamboo structures.

(Image credit: Tommaso Ravi)

Inside the Arch

(Image credit: Tommaso Ravi)

Looking into the interior of the Arch.

(Image credit: Tommaso Ravi)

A close-up of the bamboo structure.

(Image credit: Tommaso Ravi)



Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).

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