Green Village: wowing the world with bamboo

John Hardy took us on a tour of Green Village, a neighborhood of homes designed and built with an-open-air concept, a rejection of the 4-walls boxes of modern-day home design, and an ingenious and never-ending supply of innovation and ideation using bamboo as the central building material. The creative direction of the Green Village and, indeed, the management of the project, is headed up by John’s daughter, Elora Hardy, who was not available the day we visited, so John graciously toured us around.

We visited 2 homes under construction. Both houses were probably somewhere around the 1 million US Dollars price point, which is entirely reasonable from a US standpoint, in fact you probably couldn’t build them for $1 million in the US. They are built with the buyers 100% in mind. As John showed us around each house, he often mentioned the family, how they lived, who would be in each room, and how they intended to live in it.

Green Village

Homes in Green Village, a project founded by John Hardy and his daughter, Elora Hardy

*update 8/3/13
We received beautiful photos from Elora to share to replace the construction shots we originally took. Enjoy:

A tropical paradise. The pool outside shares the same air as the main house, just a different plane.

This expansive main living area overlooks the valley. It is stunning. Couldn’t help thinking about my 3-year-old as I looked down from such a high place in the trees. John’s response: “If you put your children in a cocoon their whole life, they will never learn self reliance. My kids grew up on cliff sides without barriers, and they never fell…” hmmm. John also mentioned that in one home all of the railings also have a netting attached throughout until the children are old enough to not fall through the railings.

Stairway to Heaven…┬áThe interior spaces are so open they make the home feel huge. But most of these homes are under 2000 sq ft.

I love the little inner cocoons throughout the house, offering private, peaceful solitude when needed.

What a wonderful welcome.

Hmmm, I think I could manage this…

Kitchen area and bathroom basket rooms.

A room with a view

Green Village home under construction

This is one of the original snapshots I took (as is obvious) of a home under construction. Isn’t that incredible? These homes are designed with an open air concept. The bedrooms, however, are designed with louvered doors so that they can be closed off and air conditioned when necessary. I was happy when I learned this.

Green Village home under construction

Another snapshot showing a better understanding of how the bathroom works. No worries, people, you won’t be on display – the toilet areas are enclosed baskets within the structure. The same basket-within-the-space concept is used for closets and cupboard or storage areas.

Green Village home under construction

Here’s John and Aly talking technical stuff about how the foundation works. I understood enough to know it’s incredibly innovative…I’m sure Aly will explain in his blog.

The structures in Green Village are amazing and beautiful and really pushing the boundaries of building methods and materials, which is an element of its intent. The Hardy family is working to change the world for the better by showcasing sustainable design and sustainable peaceful living through beautiful fantastic buildings. John mentioned that during the building process, they do not clear cut anything. In fact, much of the growth that is on site when they begin construction continues to grow around them as they build. In order to realize this dream, they not only have to have incredible vision, but a team of people they trust implicitly, a country with a labor rate that enables them the time to experiment, a demand for luxury sustainability which they cultivate through promoting their message in conferences, TED talks, media promotion, etc, AND raw materials on site – in fact, they farm and harvest their own bamboo and have a facility where they cut and treat the timber for the various building needs (support elements, railing, weaving pieces, etc) and build furniture on site. Basically, it takes dedicating your life to it and hoping your family follows suit to make it happen.