How did your previous experience as a print designer for Donna Karan inspire you as the creative director of Ibuku?
In New York, I soaked up Donna’s incredibly high taste level and a strong commitment to designing what feels natural and comfortable. The world is a series of textures and tones, whether in swatches of fabric, layers of pigment, or woven panels of bamboo. Immersed in the urban vitality of New York City for five years, I connected with the current creative mood, and also had to fight hard to connect with a feeling of nature, and of being nurtured. Back in Bali now, I can make ‘designed’ spaces that are current and stylish, and where feeling relaxed and grounded is effortless. With fine arts, fashion, or home design the creative process and quest for beauty and ease are the same.
What motivated the birth of Green Village?
Creating a community around the heart of the Green School was a natural progression. The river valley where the campus is located is a place where anyone would be blessed to learn and to live. The energy and attention that Green School is attracting from around the world makes it a magnet for creative people and ideas, where people gather and don’t seem to want to leave. Life at Green Village doesn’t begin or end with a commute. We wanted to recreate a sense of the original villages of the world, places where people and families could work, learn, and socialise as a community connected by a common place and philosophy.
What are the messages Green Village wants to convey?
At Green Village, you can live lightly on the land and redefine the meaning of luxury with a clear conscience. We use bamboo because of its strength, beauty, and flexibility, and also because with its four-year growth cycle and carbon sequestration capacity – it is the most environmentally-conscientious building material conceivable. In a world of retro-fitting or re-designing traditional items and materials to be slightly less ‘bad’, we decided to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Though bamboo has traditionally been used throughout Asia in short-term structures, new treatment methods have given it a new capacity for long life. Our engineers, architects and designers have created a completely new vocabulary. Not only is living in bamboo good for the environment, it helps people living in that space connect to nature, which then enhances quality of life.
What was the concept for this project?
The concept was to create a beautiful living space and viable community to the village concept around the school. We now have homeowners from all over the world moving to the Green Village because we’re combining sustainability and style; they aren’t sacrificing a certain lifestyle to be ‘green’. Our view on being green comes out of being logical, doing no harm and being conscientious without sacrificing what a family needs to be safe and comfortable.
How has this evolved since its conception?
Our homeowners have made a huge impact as they just happen to be very creative people. They have been an important component in designing their interior spaces according to how their families really live. They have shared their dreams and wishes, and suggested new creative or technical solutions. One new addition that has evolved from the design process is our stone countertops, made from slices of a huge boulder with the natural curved edges exposed.
What sort of lifestyle does this project cater to?
We have had two types of buyers so far; families who have children at the Green School and see living at Green Village as a natural extension to their lifestyle, and homeowners who have nothing to do with Green School and see Green Village as a natural extension of something they feel passionate in their lives or simply a one-of-a-kind retreat that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
One of our residents, a retired CEO from Jones Lang La Salle, said: “I was looking for a Bali residence that made good real estate investment sense but had a minimal impact on the environment. John Hardy’s vision, the creative use of bamboo and the magnificent river and jungle setting was an opportunity that will never be replicated.”
Are there any features or amenities included in the design concept specifically to accommodate this lifestyle?
Yes, we have common area amenities such as a yoga pavilion, 25m lap pool, and warung (small café) that will sell local coffee, organic snacks and light food that homeowners can order to take away.
What are some of the key elements or features of the final design?
One of our team’s favorite design elements is our signature round glass Moon door that we utilise for front entrances and special living spaces such as master bedrooms. Homeowners comment that it makes them feel like they’re living the Alice in Wonderland experience; stepping through the Moon door feels like going into the future and into the past at the same time.
Read about Bali’s Green School – dreamed up by Elora Hardy’s father, former jewellery designer John Hardy – in the March issue of Perspective magazine