A praying mantis, a grasshopper and an ant walk into a school

Green School, IBUKU, Our Green World - July 30, 2015

Today I walked through the primary school and went to every place I could. It’s just insane- it’s a new dimension in school, it’s a new dimension in classrooms, it’s beyond beautiful. We’re going to make bridges between them and slides. Orin is making an amazing garden, floating down the hill. Such fun to have at school, usually fun is not allowed at school. On the ridge of each classroom will be a wayang kulit (Indonesian shadow puppet) figure made out of bamboo and every year it will be changed by the new class that moves into the building.


We asked the architects at Ibuku to tell us a little bit more about the design they chose:

The inspiration of the building shape for the new Green School Elementary Classrooms came from a leaf shape found on the site; it’s a simple shape,  yet functional when it implemented as a building roof. The project consists of 3 buildings each with classrooms on two levels and designed to fit onto a sloping site.

The classrooms have been configured to accommodate 22 students and 2 teachers within a flexible layout. Due to the sloping site, two of the buildings have undercroft floors where office, storage and ancillary spaces are located. Much consideration has been given to stair landings and access on this sloping site and an adventure area is planned for the central area linking all 3 buildings. It was a design priority to limit any disturbance to the existing slope. Cut and fill was kept to a minimum and most major trees were retained and incorporated in the building design. The classrooms have been designed to be open air with framed views of the river valley and beyond. A special feature will be the a changing exhibition of puppets mounted on the roof ridge line. The students will be encouraged to create the puppets and they will be replaced annually.
During the design process, a praying mantis, a grasshopper and an ant all landed on our bamboo building models as we were meeting ( at three different times), so we named each building after the insects’ locals names. So we have a Tengklung (mantis) classroom, a Balang (grasshopper) classroom and  a Semut (ant) classroom.


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