Biophilic Architecture: What is it and How Can it be Applied?
Biophilic Architecture: What is it and How Can it be Applied?

You've probably noticed how calming it can be to spend time in objects that are filled with natural elements. Nature, in its essence, is all about relaxation, relief, and tranquility. Sights of vast landscapes, beautiful oceans and seas, rivers, seashores, and mountains give us the feeling of freedom while rapid creeks, lush forests, and vast oceans put your mind at ease.

Nature is still all around us, even though we tend to smother it in concrete. Spending just a few moments outside can do miracles for your mood. The problem is that 93% of people spend almost all their time away from natural elements.

This is just 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 that provides a contemporary solution is biophilic architecture. This is a strategic approach that allows us to add natural elements to our built environment.

What is biophilic architecture?

As a species, humans have always been connected to nature in many different ways. This innate love for everything that is natural comes from that immense connection. We weren't built to live surrounded by concrete, and the total absence of nature is potentially harmful to our health.

The solution comes in the form of biophilic architecture. This is an applied solution that allows us to satisfy the urge for nature by infusing natural processes and elements into the objects we build.

This approach helps to create a more natural environment without necessarily being in such an environment. The biophilic architecture approach allows you to have your forest at home. This type of architecture can be easily implemented at any level - from small projects to buildings and entire communities.

Certain countries have already welcomed this concept with open arms. They have built entire biophilic cities. Biophilic architecture helps produce more vibrant nature-filled urban areas where the well-being and health of citizens come first.

If done right, this type of design should significantly contribute to improving our well-being and health. Biophilic architecture and design open doors to many opportunities. According to some experts, a biophilic space can be categorized into three different experiences:

●       Experience of place and space

●       Indirect experience of nature

●       Direct experience of nature

Let's delve deeper into how to apply biophilic architecture in a work environment.

Direct biophilic architecture

Direct biophilic architecture is a concept that includes adding a green touch to the built environment. That includes pretty much any aspect that allows for direct contact with nature. The natural elements used in biophilic architecture refer to water, light, plants, and any other green or natural element.

Some biophilic designs even include natural air movement to make the built environment closer to nature. All these natural and green features are meant to bring a natural touch to our work environments.

Regardless of the industry, healthcare, educational, or industrial buildings, biophilic architecture helps make your surroundings and workplace feel more natural and relaxing. The best example of a relaxing biophilic design is a green workplace.

If your workplace is filled with plants, that can do miracles for your mood, health, and well-being. Plants are alive even though we don't perceive them as such. They live and breathe just like we do. According to numerous studies, plants are incredibly beneficial to us as they can enhance our productivity, performance, and creativity.

This is what corporate professionals are trying to increase by including such designs in the workplace. The thing with biophilic architecture is that it reaches far beyond the workplace. It can be applied in home environments too.

Experiencing daylight and views of direct nature is one of the strongest aspects of environmental psychology. Airflow and water are also key elements in biophilic architecture. Adding natural airflow to a building or an indoor river helps create a natural equilibrium. That's how you can turn a simple structure into a mind-soothing natural ambiance.

Indirect biophilic architecture

The indirect experience of nature in biophilic architecture is all about developing new strategies that allow architects and designs to incorporate natural materials like earth, dirt, stone, and wood in their works.

The best thing about indirect biophilic architecture is that you don't have to stop at natural materials; you can also use paintings and images of nature. It's the atmosphere and ambiance that matter. There are spaces where natural elements aren't desired or simply aren't feasible.

In such cases, indirect natural elements, such as images of nature, come into play. It's even possible to create a multi-sensory biophilic experience by adding smells and sounds. Natural smells and sounds play a massive role in architecture and building design.

How to apply biophilic architecture to bring nature to your office

Now that you have a basic understanding of the concept of biophilic architecture and how it can contribute to making your entire workplace and home feel more natural and relaxing, let's delve deeper into how to apply such a concept in real life.

Whether you want direct or indirect biophilic experiences or the two combined, here are some tips on how to bring nature to your built environment.

1. Let your space breathe

Something as simple as opening the blinds can make your entire area more atmospheric and sensual. Being able to experience glare during your working hours makes you feel more relaxed and relieved. Keep your workplace as illuminated as possible.

2. Consider buying some plants

The more, the merrier. The thing with plants is that you'll be spending a lot of time looking at them. Each time you take a break, spend some time with your plants, as this will prove to be a mini-restorative experience.

The additional benefit is that plants, especially flowers, make your office and home smell pleasant. Greenery is always beautiful, so buy lots of it.

3. Put photos of nature

Take pictures of nature and decorate your space the way you see fit. Include different images to inspire awe. The more you stare at these photos, the more you'll get curious about nature. Nature tends to evoke curiosity.

4. Play the sounds of nature regularly

Listen to the sounds of nature, forest, oceans, rain, and so on. Airflows, running water, birds chirping, all these natural sounds can do miracles for your health and mood. They are tranquil and soothing and are great for any working environment where peace and quiet are involved.

5. Include open spaces in your design

Most people spend a lot of time in front of a computer, glued to their desks. This sedentary way of life is terrible for your posture and overall health.

Big and spacious workplaces with open-air areas are just perfect for solving this problem. Think about going outside and to the woods for a hike.