Biophilic Design is the ecological solution to the disastrous design of the modern urban built environment, where degradation of the natural systems has caused a growing separation between the human and the natural surroundings. This biophilic design process is commonly referred to as “Restorative Environmental Design” for the reason that its unique design approach that “aims at both a low-environmental-impact plan that reduces and mitigates adverse impacts on the natural environment, and optimistic environmental impact or biophilic design approach that fosters beneficial contact between people and nature in modern buildings and landscapes.
Biophilia is defined as the innate human inclination to associate with nature. The ethical imperative of biophilia is that we cannot flourish as individuals or as a species without a compassionate and considerate relationship to the world beyond ourselves of which we are a part.
Humans may have developed in the natural world, but the environment of contemporary people has largely become the indoor built environment where they now spend 90 percent of their time. The result has been an increasing disconnect between us and nature. Nonetheless, the emerging concept of biophilic design recognizes how much human physical and mental well-being depends on the quality of our relationships to the natural world.
Irrespective of age or culture humans find nature restorative. Humans consider that nature is good to us, and hence we tend to respond positively to environments that were favorable to us. Many studies show that after a stressful event, images of nature very quickly produce a calming effect. Within three to four minutes after looking at natural scenes, blood pressure, respiration rate, brain activity, along with the production of stress hormones all decline and mood improves. This again has an evolutionary advantage because it allows us to recuperate and recover our energy quickly. Nature is also primarily linked to our human sanctity. Out in nature, we feel how we are connected to entities beyond ourselves and understand our interdependencies with other living beings. Eventually, nature provides a great distraction. In addition to the psychosomatic benefits, reducing patient stress and anxiety has tangible physical benefits. Light, Space, Colour, Shape, Texture, Artwork, are the determining factors that create a healing environment.
It is as simple as this if a design fails to focus on aspects of the natural world that add to human health and productivity in the age-old struggle to be fit and survive, it is not biophilic.
Here is a list of biophilic buildings all over the world.
Maggie’s Centre Lanarkshire
It is located in Scotland and designed by Reiach and Hall. According to Maggie’s, ‘The essence of the design is the creation of a matrix of courtyards that result in a porous building, an extension of the landscape that offers moments of visibility and outlook with places of privacy and in look.’
It is located in Madrid. It has been designed by Selgas Cano office. A 2cm-thick curved window runs the complete length of the north-facing wall. The opposed south-facing wall is made of 11cm thick insulated fiberglass and polyester, providing workers shade from the unswerving sunlight and avoiding the tunnel-shaped office becoming too hot. A hinged opening attached to a weighted pulley system basically permits for varying degrees of natural ventilation.
One Central Park
It is located in Sydney. It has been designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel. It has a hanging garden which transforms the look of the building from an untouched tower of glass and steel into something a lot more natural and organic looking.
Urban farm at Pasona Group offices
It is located in Tokyo. It has been designed by Architect Kono Designs. It uses both hydroponic and soil-based farming. The design puts crops and office workers in a common space. For instance, tomato climbers are hanged directly above conference tables, lemon and passion fruit trees are utilized as partitions for gathering spaces, salad leaves are grown inside seminar rooms and bean sprouts are grown under benches.
It is the location in Milan, Italy. It has been designed by Stefano BoeriArchitetti and Barreca& La Varra. It is a pair of residential towers. The twin residential buildings are planted with trees and other plants, which the designers claim is equivalent to 10,000 sq.mts of a forest.