When I was nine years old, my mom asked me what I would want my house to look like, and I drew this fairy mushroom. And then she actually built it. I don’t think I realized this was so unusual at the time, and maybe I still haven’t, because I’m still designing houses. This is a six-story bespoke home on the island of Bali. It’s built almost entirely from bamboo. The living room overlooks the valley from the fourth floor. You enter the house by a bridge.
It can get hot in the tropics, so we make big curving roofs to catch the breezes. But some rooms have tall windows to keep the air conditioning in and the bugs out. This room we left open. We made an air-conditioned, tented bed. And one client wanted a TV room in the corner of her living room. Boxing off an area with tall walls just didn’t feel right, so instead, we made this giant woven pod.
Now, we do have all the necessary luxuries, like bathrooms. This one is a basket in the corner of the living room, and I’ve got tell you, some people actually hesitate to use it. We have not quite figured out our acoustic insulation. So there are lots of things that we’re still working on, but one thing I have learned is that bamboo will treat you well if you use it right.
It’s actually a wild grass. It grows on otherwise unproductive land — deep ravines, mountainsides. It lives off of rainwater, spring water, sunlight, and of the 1,450 species of bamboo that grow across the world, we use just seven of them.