Introducing Awestruck Biophilic Design - bringing the outdoors indoors through the exploration of wellbeing

Biophilic Design in Architecture: When Nature meets Structure

Biophilic design and architecture aims at forming strong connection between nature and man-made environments, which has proven benefits, such as helping hospital patients get better, office workers becoming more productive and encouraging children to learn.

Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

Credit - Gardens by the Bay by Lukas Bischoff

As people become more aware of the current issues in architecture associated with human health and wellbeing, the adaptation of the Biophilic Design concept is on an influencing run.

Biophilic design is more than just bringing the outdoors in, it’s about strengthening and making a connection with all aspects of nature. It’s about natural light, views on nature, plants, natural materials, textures and patterns.

As our lives are becoming increasingly urbanised and our connection to nature, green spaces, organic materials and natural light is declining. However, developments in technology and new attitudes to design are leading to positive change. Architecture and exteriors facades, improving the urban landscape from a steel and cement structure to greener one, where artefacts seamlessly fuse with natural elements, benefitting our health and wellbeing both physically and psychologically.

Freebooter – Biophilic Architecture Residential House by Giacomo Garziano

Credit - Up by Reform Sustainable High-Quality Kitchen by Jeppe Christensen and Michael Andersen

Here’s our pick of the best Biophilic architectural designs from different corners of the world.

One Central Park

 Location: Sydney

Architect: Design architect: Ateliers Jean Nouvel. PTW Architects (gardens by Patrick Blanc)

Completed: 2014

One Central Park in Sydney is the perfect example of when we talk about green buildings usually means those that are designed to be kind to environment. But increasingly, buildings are now becoming literally green too. Which is where One central Park comes in to place as this design features a hanging garden which transforms the building from an untouched tower of glass and steel into something a lot more natural and organic.

One Central Park, Sydney

Credit - Two iconic towers designed by Jean Nouvel for Block 2 of the Frasers Broadway project transform the skyline of Sydney.

The other key features of this building is a ‘heliostat’ which is used to generate solar power and help with renewable green energy, an internal water recycling plant and a low carbon tri- generation power plant. An assembly of motorised mirrors capture sunlight and reflect it down onto the building’s gardens. Also, at night they have an amazing art installation by artist Yann Kersale which come to life, creating a beautiful, glistening canopy.

One Central Park, Sydney   

Credit - Two iconic towers designed by Jean Nouvel for Block 2 of the Frasers Broadway project transform the skyline of Sydney.

One Central Park, Sydney

Credit - Two iconic towers designed by Jean Nouvel for Block 2 of the Frasers Broadway project transform the skyline of Sydney.

One central Park has been awarded a five- star green star by the green building council in Australia. The building was also named the best tall building in the world for 2014 by the council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats.

One Central Park, Sydney

 Credit - Two iconic towers designed by Jean Nouvel for Block 2 of the Frasers Broadway project transform the skyline of Sydney.

Maggie’s Centre Lanarkshire

Location: Scotland

Architect: Reiach and Hall

Completed: 2011

Maggie’s Centre Lanarkshire, Scotland

Credit - Photography is by David Grandorge.

The heart of most Maggie’s Centres are Biophilic Design, these are purpose built cancer care centres that have been designed by some of the world’s best architects. The Centre in Lanarkshire in Scotland, designed by Reiach and Hall, is the perfect example of a building that’s at one with nature and its surroundings.

All Maggie’s Centres are ones that are situated near an existing hospital. Reiach and Hall created a low – lying building that fits around the existing tree that defines the northern boundary belt to the main hospital site. The essence of Maggie’s designs are to create an extension of the landscape that offers moments of visibility and outlook with places of privacy and in look.

Maggie’s Centre Lanarkshire, Scotland    

Credit - Photography is by David Grandorge.

Maggie’s Centre Lanarkshire, Scotland

Credit - Photography is by David Grandorge.

Inside they have a large central kitchen table, which gives views of a series of internal courtyards and gardens. Large windows and Glass walls help breakdown the distinctions between the building and its natural surroundings.

Maggie’s Centre Lanarkshire, Scotland

Credit - Photography is by David Grandorge.

St. Mary’s Infant School

Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Architect: Jessop and Cook Architects

Completed: 2013

St. Mary’s Infant School, Oxfordshire, UK

Credit - Photographs are by Nikhilesh Haval.

St Mary’s Infant School new Classrooms consist of three offset elements. All of the classrooms reflect the form and multiple pitched roofs of the main school in a playful way, whilst breaking up the linear part of the site and creating an enclosed secret garden. The first structure consists of the buff brick main classroom, the second structure is used for additional teaching space and features. The third cedar clad structure is an external covered playing area that can be accessed by a set of bi-fold doors to link the class and play space.

St. Mary’s Infant School, Oxfordshire, UK

Credit - Photographs are by Nikhilesh Haval.

Inside the main teaching space provides a light airy environment created by the multiple roof lights, strip windows along the south elevation and large high-level windows which all help to capture light throughout the day. It offers a variety of spaces through the use of extruded window bays and raised play areas to create an engaging environment for children.

St. Mary’s Infant School, Oxfordshire, UK

Credit - Photographs are by Nikhilesh Haval.

The Scarlet Hotel

Location: Cornwall, UK

Architect / Interior Designer: Harrison Sutton Partnership (Architecture), Max Bentheim (interior Designer)

The Scarlet Hotel is renowned for its breath taking cliffside location in Cornwall which is one of the major features of its biophilic design. There are many other biophilic features such as the large windows and glazed doors dissolve the division between indoor and outdoor spaces and gives guests views of a natural outdoor reed pool, as well as the rugged beach and the sea beyond it. There is also a sheltered arch garden accessible to many of the guest bedrooms allowing for views onto a more delicate forms of fauna and landscaping.

The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, UK

Credit - Scarlet Hotel

The abundant of natural light has been proven to help regulate people’s circadian rhythms, while the strong presence of water in and around the hotel maintains a connection to the natural world. There is also an indoor pool with views of the sea and an outdoor hot tub.

The Scarlet Hotel Location, Cornwall, UK

Credit - The Scarlet hotel in Mawgan Porth bay, north Cornwall. David Parsley

There is evidence that exposure to nature is even more beneficial when the combination of senses are stimulated at the same time. At the Scarlet, this multiple-sensory stimulation can be experienced through the interior design scheme, where materials such as stone and wood, as well as textures and patterns are used to give the guests a truly immersive experience. Which is perfect for people that are wanting to escape the city life!

The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall, UK

Credit -  SILVERSPOON LONDON

Bosco Verticale

Location: Milan, Italy

Architect: Stefano Boeri Architetti and Barreca& La Varra

Completed: 2014

Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy

Credit - Photographs: Paolo Rosselli, Laura Cionci

The Bosco Verticale is a pair of residential towers in the porta Nuova District in Milan Italy. It was awarded the International Highrise Award in 2014 and described as a project that shines the trail for greened high-rises can be considered a prototype for cities of tomorrow.

Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy

Credit - Photographs: Paolo Rosselli, Laura Cionci

The twin residential buildings are planted with trees and plants equivalent to 10,000 sq. m of forest. The towers are 111 meters and 76 meters high; they are entirely covered by 900 trees planted in the terraces surrounding the structures. The plants are entirely sustained through the use of renewable energy and collecting wastewater. 

Bosco Verticale, Milan, Italy

Credit - Photographs: Paolo Rosselli, Laura Cionci

Mirror Cube (Tree House Hotel)

Location: Sweden

Architect: Tham & Videgard

Completed: 2010

Mirror Cube (Tree House Hotel), Sweden

Credit - Photographs are by Åke E:son Lindman

When city life becomes too much, why not come here and check into this perfect place. This hotel is series of three hotels in a forest which is close to the village of Harads and to the arctic Circle in Sweden. Designed by Tham & Videgard Arkitekter, the hotel takes the unusual cube form of a lightweight aluminium structure hung around a tree trunk. The cube structure is cladded by mirrored glass. The exterior structure reflects the surrounding trees and the sky, creating a camouflaged refuge. The interior is made of plywood and the windows give panoramic views of the forest.

Mirror Cube (Tree House Hotel), Sweden

Credit - Photographs are by Åke E:son Lindman

To prevent birds from colliding with the reflective glass, a transparent ultraviolet colour, visible only to birds, is laminated into the glass panes.

Mirror Cube (Tree House Hotel), Sweden  Mirror Cube (Tree House Hotel), Sweden

All of the Above Credits  - Photographs are by Åke E:son Lindman

The construction conveys the idea of how man relates to nature, how we use high tech materials and products when exploring remote places in harsh climates.

Mirror Cube (Tree House Hotel), Sweden

Credit - Photographs are by Åke E:son Lindman

So here are our 6 Favourite Biophilic designs.  At Harleen Mclean Interiors we offer a bespoke design service in Biophilic design, please get in contact with us at -Harleenmclean@gmail.com or Visit us on our website : www.harleenmcleaninteriors.com

Biophilic Architecture

Credit - Pintrest