Sharma Springs Bamboo House, Bali

The jaw dropping architecture of this bamboo wonderment must be seen to be believed. A definite feast for the eyes. Its innovative design will leave you amazed while the luxury hospitality pampers your soul. A true escape indeed.

The Sharma Springs gardens surround a six-story bamboo building inspired by the shape of a lotus. The estate spans over an area of 25000 m2, extending from the road to the edge of the river. Pathways and gardens follow the contours of the land. ‘No dig gardens’ have been implemented to build soil on top of the existing clay base. Local organic matter is reused from the site to improve the soil. Keyhole garden beds, banana, papaya circles and vertical living retaining walls with garden beds on top are all space saving Permaculture design aspects.

The whole site is covered with plants and heavily mulched to reduce the negative impact of tropical rainfall and sun exposure on soil fertility.

Living fences along the south and north boundaries provide chop and drop nitrogen sources for soil fertility. Bio-mass plants such as lemon grass and vetiver grass have been designed into the garden system to limit the importation of any further soil or mulching materials after the initial build of the garden. A worm farm provides vermicastings, liquid fertilizer and beneficial microbes to enhance soil fertility. The hardscape elements on the Sharma Springs landscape have been chosen from local materials found in Bali and Java. The forms follow design cues from the architecture and landform while remaining functional and practical.

As if Bali’s beautiful seascape and tropical weather weren’t alluring enough, the Southeast Asian country boasts one of the most amazing examples we’ve seen of sustainable design — a six-story structure created by architect Elora Hardy and made almost entirely of bamboo. Elora Hardy left a successful career in the NY fashion scene to build bamboo houses in Indonesia. The Bali resident and her team have spent the last 5 years revolutionizing bamboo construction in the belief that it is an underused but ideal renewable resource. Hardy uses boron, which occurs naturally in nature, to treat the bamboo and make it indigestible to insects.

Hardy was inspired by her father, who “chose bamboo for all of the buildings on campus, because he saw it as a promise,” she explains in her TED talk. “It’s a promise to the kids. It’s one sustainable material that they will not run out of. And when I first saw these structures under construction about six years ago, I just thought, this makes perfect sense…Why hasn’t this happened sooner, and what can we do with it next?”

Bamboo has the compressive force of concrete, the strength-to-weight ratio of steel, and is one of the fastest growing plants in the world. Damage from insects and moisture are its primary weaknesses, but if treated, bamboo structures can last a lifetime.

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