As part of our ongoing architectural adventure we visited Bambu Indah, high above the rushing waters of the Ayung River to the west of Ubud. Part of the inspiring John Hardy empire of Green School fame, this boutique eco-accommodation is a hamlet of unique Javanese houses, once used by noblemen as bridal homes, then transported and loving restored for a new life in Bali. At the heart of the lodge is a Sumatran style house with a multi-saddle roof and vast interior perfect for yoga, parties and performances. The reception is a striking cocoon like bubble of bamboo and latex that served as a prototype for similar buildings at the Green School.
Each house has an individual theme, decorated with artifacts, textiles and accessories reflecting its name. The villa above is Kuning House (Yellow), dating from 1862, and below is Kolam House (Pond), with a stepping stone entrance over a koi pond. Details such as beaten copper sinks, open air "rain showers" with slatted wooden floors and antique furniture make each bungalow charming and comfortable. Beyond the rustic decor are modern touches such as wifi internet and Japanese washer-drier-high-tech loos. It is a style the Hardy's describe as "luxury primitive".
The pool is the focus of activity, and a chance to feed your inner child with a splash on the rope swing. The natural looking pond and river are lined with recyclable polyethylene and lava rocks, without chlorine or chemicals, which makes for a clean and refreshing swim.