In Bogor, a couple of young parents felt challenged to run a school that is sensory stimulating and has sufficient outdoor space which shall encourage children's physical activities. This has led them to initiate a pre and elementary school made out of bamboo. A site next to a village surrounded by vegetable gardens and bamboo groves was chosen to host 300 sqm covered space. The local policy allows private school to apply national curriculum with addition of local contents. In this case, Islamic teachings, environmental education, local history, and culture were taught to the first batch of forty students at Al-Giva school.
The city of Bogor is around an hour drive towards south from Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta. Relatively, Bogor offers better access to nature and stronger social connectedness. This advantage made Bogor home for a sizeable middle class. Among distinct urges of this economic segment is demand for good quality education. In many senses, the prevailing situation of state’s schools that is associated with uniformity, formalism, and crowdedness barely met today’s aspirations.
The Sundanese is native ethnic group in the rugged topography of West Java province where Bogor located. Sundanese culture known for their close relationship with nature, and bamboo construction is part of its tradition. However, in general architecture have changed to masonry construction following decades of modern ideas and the market orientation. Using of contemporary design combined with old material is an attemp to provoke a fresh thoughts, thus new appreciation towards the archaic material may grow. Bamboo species being used in the construction is awi gombong (Gigantochloa pseudoarundinacea) and awi tali (Gigantochloa apus), native species of West Java. Six-meter long poles were preservated and transported from treatment centers around 40 and 100 kilometers away from the site.
Surrounded by tropical forests, Bogor is also called as rain city and has a warm-humid climate. With mountain ridge in the southern part, Bogor enjoys longer monsoon than any other city in Indonesia. The school's high-pitched roof allows free flow of rain water. The roof contour mimics the multiple peaks of Mount Salak, and the three classes in use by the first batch of students were named after three mountains surrounding Bogor. Ultimately, the use of organic building materials ensure thermal comfort and positive ambience to the school.