Biophilic Architecture: What it is and How to Apply it
You've probably noticed how calming it can be to spend time in environments filled with natural elements. Nature, by its essence, provides relaxation, relief, and tranquility. The sights of vast landscapes, beautiful oceans and seas, rivers, coastlines, and mountains give us a sense of freedom, while the sound of rushing streams, lush forests, and expansive oceans soothes our minds.
Nature is still around us, although we tend to suffocate it with concrete. Spending just a few moments outside can work wonders for your mood. The problem is that 93% of people spend almost all their time away from natural elements.
This is simply a byproduct of our current social behavior, but it doesn't have to be that way. The question is, what can we do to improve the well-being of our communities and reverse this unhealthy trend?
The answer provided by a modern solution is biophilic architecture. It is a strategic approach that allows us to incorporate natural elements into our built environment.
What is biophilic architecture
As human beings, we have always been connected to nature in various ways, and this deep bond stems from that connection. We were not meant to live in a concrete environment, and the complete absence of nature can potentially be detrimental to our health.
The solution comes in the form of biophilic architecture. It is a compromise that allows us to fulfill our longing for nature by integrating natural processes and elements into the structures we build.
This approach helps create a more natural environment even when we are not in direct contact with nature. Biophilic architecture allows you to have your own forest within your home. This type of architecture can be implemented at various scales, from small-scale projects to entire buildings and communities.
Some countries have already embraced this concept wholeheartedly, constructing entire biophilic cities. Biophilic architecture helps create vibrant, nature-filled urban neighborhoods where the well-being and health of citizens are paramount.
When done correctly, this type of design should significantly improve our well-being and health. Biophilic architecture and design open doors to numerous possibilities. According to some experts, biophilic spaces can be categorized into three types:
- 1. Utilization of Place and Space
- 2. Indirect Use of Nature
- 3. Direct Use of Nature
Let's delve into how to apply biophilic architecture in the workplace environment.
Direct Biophilic Architecture
Direct biophilic architecture is a concept that involves incorporating greenery into the built environment. It encompasses any aspect that allows for direct contact with nature. Natural elements used in biophilic architecture include water, light, plants, and any other green or natural features.
Some biophilic structures even incorporate natural airflow to bring the created environment closer to nature. All these natural and green features aim to bring a sense of natural atmosphere into our work environment.
Whether in industrial, medical, educational, or office buildings, biophilic architecture helps make your surroundings and workspace more natural and relaxing. A prime example of a relaxing biophilic design is a green workspace.
If your workspace is filled with plants, it can work wonders for your mood, health, and well-being. Plants are living beings, although we may not perceive them as such. They live and breathe just like us. According to numerous studies, plants are incredibly beneficial for us as they can enhance our productivity, performance, and creativity.
This is what corporate professionals are trying to enhance by incorporating such designs in the workplace. With biophilic architecture, it goes beyond just the workspace—it can also be applied in residential settings.
Utilizing daylight and providing direct views are some of the strongest aspects of environmental psychology. Airflow and water are also key elements in biophilic architecture. Incorporating natural airflow into a building or space helps create a sense of natural balance. This is how you can transform a simple structure into a calming natural atmosphere.
Indirect Biophilic Architecture
Indirect biophilic architecture involves the development of strategies that allow architects and projects to incorporate natural materials such as earth, dirt, stone, and wood into their designs.
The convenience of indirect biophilic architecture is that you're not limited to using natural materials; you can also use paintings and images of nature. These elements are important for creating an atmosphere. There are places where real natural elements are undesirable or simply not feasible.
In such cases, indirect natural elements, such as images of nature, come into play. You can even create a multisensory biophilic atmosphere by adding scents and sounds. Natural scents and sounds play a significant role in architecture and building design.
How to apply biophilic architecture to bring nature into your office:
Now that you have a general understanding of the concept of biophilic architecture and how it can help make your workspace and home more natural and relaxing, let's delve into how to apply this concept in real life.
ЕWhether you want a direct biophilic experience, an indirect one, or both, here are some tips on how to bring nature into your artificial environment:
- Let your space breathe: Something as simple as opening blinds can make your interior more atmospheric and sensory. Having the opportunity to catch glimpses of sunlight during work hours can make you feel more relaxed and serene. Keep your workspace as well-lit as possible.
- Consider getting plants: The more, the merrier. The good thing is that you'll spend a lot of time caring for them. Take breaks and spend some time with your plants; it can be mini-restorative sessions. An added benefit is that plants, especially flowers, make your office and home smell pleasant. Greenery is always beautiful, so get plenty of it.
- Display photographs of nature: Take pictures of nature and decorate your interior with those photographs. Use various images to evoke emotions. The more you look at these photographs, the more you'll think about nature. Nature tends to spark curiosity.
- Regularly listen to nature sounds: Listen to sounds of nature, forests, oceans, rain, and so on. Airflows, water, bird chirping—all these natural sounds can work wonders for your health and mood. They are calming and soothing and work well in any work environment where peace and quiet prevail.
- Incorporate open spaces into your design: Most people spend a lot of time sitting in front of computers, glued to their desks. This sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to your posture and overall health. Large and spacious work areas with outdoor seating areas are ideal for addressing this issue. Consider going outside or into the woods for a walk.
By incorporating these elements, you can create a biophilic environment that brings the benefits of nature into your office or living space.