Elora Hardy, who has a degree in fine arts and worked as a fashion print designer in New York, left behind her successful career to create gorgeous sustainable bamboo houses in bamboo.
Unfortunately, our once gorgeously green and lush planet has become infested by concrete jungles which have played a huge role in the environmental issues that we face today. While most of us make do with gazing at dreamy pictures of places where nature still survives in its pure glory, Elora Hardy decided to quit her successful career in New York and move to Bali where she now makes beautiful sustainable bamboo houses.
The structures are designed in such a way that they do not destroy the nature around it. These architectural marvels serve as evidence of the structural and decorative possibilities of bamboo.
According to Architectural Digest, Elora formed Ibuku, the design firm responsible for the whimsical bamboo houses in 2010 after she was inspired by the design for the island’s non-profit Green School.
The world-renowned wall-less school was founded by her father and jewelry designer John Hardy, and wife, Cynthia in 2008 and now draws visitors from around the world who come seeking its sustainable ethos and innovative curriculum.
Elora, who has a degree in fine arts and worked as a print designer for Donna Karan, left her illustrious career in New York and moved to Bali to reconnect with the culture and landscape that she loved when growing up in the Indonesian island as a young girl.
Today, she and her design team at Ibuku continually find ways to expand the luxurious possibilities of bamboo. "It’s really important to me that we move beyond the bamboo-hut idea," said Elora, explaining her firm's aim of integrating technical innovation with local craftsmanship.
"As we continue to push the limits, my role is to be the connector. With the client and Ibuku’s architects, model makers, and craftsmen, there’s an entire dialogue that unfolds when we create these houses," she added.
While bamboo housing structures are commonly envisioned as little huts, Elora has proved through Ibuku that the seemingly prosaic material can also be used to create surreal tropical mansions as high as six floors high and measuring over 8,000 square feet.
Speaking about the houses designed by Ibuku, Elora's father John said," Living in a box is death to the people. We evolved to walk on the earth, not on perfectly flat, industrial floors. Modern homes are full of right angles—they’re not life-enhancing. Look at the beauty in the world. There are no right angles. And the toxic crap in so many of our homes. What are we doing to ourselves and the planet? We don’t use the right angles in the homes we build. We take our cues from nature and traditional indigenous buildings. The floors in our homes are often slightly ridged— they’re amazing. You wake up and you just feel happy."
Adding to what her father stated, Elora chimed in, "The experience that people have in a building is much more important than what it looks like. The most powerful thing for people to get from the spaces we build is a feeling of optimism, that there’s hope and possibility and magic in the world."
Bamboo has for long been overlooked as an ideal building material, but with the strength-to-weight ratio of steel and the ability to regenerate itself in just a few years, it could be the answer to solving at least some of the environmental concerns that haunt the planet today.