This unique retreat can be found among the jungle forest of Bali in Indonesia. The project started out back in 2014 when the designers, Jarmil Lhoták + Alena Fibichová, started to experiment with the idea of a small bamboo house.
In previous years, bamboo was regarded as a cheap construction material only used “for cow sheds”, never mind a home. Fast forward to 2017, and it’s now considered to be one of the best green construction materials available.
The small bamboo house has a footprint of just 538.19-square-feet (50-square-meters). It’s been dubbed “Hideout Bali” by the architects, alluding to its well-concealed position among the backdrop of the forest. Hideout Bali is also set along the bank of a river – an altogether idyllic location for a relaxing retreat.
From the architects: “In 2014 we saw and felt the contrast of bamboo being fast growing and easily accessible material that is native to Bali but manifesting so far only either as the low-quality material for cow sheds or as a luxurious material at few expensive accommodations. That is why Hideout project represents an idea something unique and accessible for all, who want to experience a night in a bamboo house.”
Given the local abundance of the primary construction material, the bamboo was harvested from nearby villages. In particular, the sourced bamboo from Karangasem, a town set 2,624.64-feet (800-meters above seal level. The conditions and climate result in the bamboo having lower sugar levels, giving it a greater density, and hence creating a more durable material.
The bamboo was then treated with a mix of smoke, and non-toxic products to ensure it wouldn’t be attacked by termites, and would better resist the local weather. The result of their efforts is a low-key dwelling, that slips into the natural surroundings. The structure is composed of 6 bamboo columns, which support the upper floors, walls and roof.
Continuing the theme of natural elements, the roof is thatched, and formed with traditional stylings – a saddle roof with open space beneath it. The A-shape of the roof was taken advantage of, and the designers incorporated a series of triangular windows on the gable end. Thanks to the tropical weather, the shower is located outside, set under the trees.
From the architects: “Wherever it was possible, trees serve their purpose in the house or in the garden, which almost gives you a feeling of living in a treehouse.”
For more retreats, check out Krane, a one-of-kind retreat set within one of Denmark’s disused harbor cranes. Or, Doppelganger, an extension that transforms an old house into a writer’s haven. See all retreats.
Photos © Sasha Juliard