At Forest Homes, we have the mission of restoring the human-nature connection through indoor objects and decor. The process and science of bringing nature to our space is also known as Biophilic Design. Have a look at the most impressive projects of Biophilic Design in Architecture worldwide 2019.
In the year 2019, we experienced amazing achievements in the built environment worldwide that demonstrate the principles of Biophilic Design as described by the social ecologist Stephen R. Kellert. In its third edition, the annual Biophilic Design Award (by Living Future) selected the most salient projects in architecture from three different categories: Building Scale, Interior and Renovation, and Community and Urban Scale.
From projects in Bali, Indonesia, or Singapore, to Montreal, Canada or Texas, United States; we bring you the winners and honourable mentions from each category, and we explain why they represent Biophilic Design in such exceptional ways.
A Bamboo Cathedral at Green School - Bali, Indonesia: Winner of Building Scale Award
This amazing bamboo cathedral, also known as the Heart of School, is inspired by the spiral movements of nature in the Fibonacci sequence. Though this project is about a decade old, it certainly represents the role of biophilic design that stands the test of time.
Its impressive structure with a vernacular architectural style, speaks to the richness of Biophilic design. As the Heart of the School, the building forms the central core of Green School, with a roof shaped in the form of three spiraling nautili.
The criteria of the Biophilic Design Award finds this school to be an exceptional, International Biophilia project that embodies the spirit of place.
"An incredible example of bamboo architecture, the open air concept and thatched roof create a cathedral that is structured, yet organic. This use of local natural materials creates an open-air environment that suits the climate and contributes to a strong local vernacular. By offering students a place to learn, connect, and be immersed in nature, the younger generation is learning a new way of living and honouring the natural world. In this way, the school is not only a place where teaching happens, but the building itself becomes an integral part of the learning process."
The project of Green School Bali is both visually impressive and environmentally conscious. We could say it fully exemplifies Kellert's vision for a biophilic and sustainable world.
Learn more about Green School Bali in the video below.
The Phenix - Montreal, Canada: Winner of Interior / Renovation Award
The Phenix building was renovated by Lemay Architectural Firm. In the past, this building of 95 000 sq. ft. was used as a distribution center for a department store. The renovation of this industrial structure was looking to be a revival of a healthy, efficient and inspiring building. In fact, the architectural firm Lemay, determined its desire to make the most efficient use of resources, promote green transportation, enhance health and wellness, and guarantee that employees were connected to nature.
In Biophilic Design, this project shines for its environmental performance-based strategies and its incorporation of biophilic design elements to create an inviting and inspirational workplace.
"The spirit of place can be felt as one enters the building through the garden and is greeted by the dynamic mural on the facade. Indoors, lighting and plant features surround the interior perimeter and complement the lounge’s living wall. The variety and diversity of biophilic patterns, local artwork, and natural colours are well designed and translate into a thoughtful project."
Learning Forest and Lakeside Garden - Singapore: Winner of Community and Urban Scale Award
The Learning Forest and Lakeside Garden in Singapore are a great display of the city’s commitment to growing a biophilic city in a garden, where inhabitants live surrounded by a sustainable and biologically diverse urban ecosystem.
This project is an outstanding multi-functional park and ecosystem that serves as an example for other cities to learn from. The Learning Forest and Lakeside Garden opens our eyes to the incredible potential of an urban application of biophilia that is geared towards educating students and people.
"No other city has done as much to advance the vision and practice of biophilic cities as Singapore. The city-state has been at the forefront of linking people with nature through a vision supported by policy."
Honourable mentions of Biophilic Design in 2019
In spite of not taking an award this year, these amazing projects showcasing Biophilic Design deserve recognition.
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus - Pennsylvania, United States
The Eden Hall Campus is an incredibly thoughtful project due to its impressive, comprehensive, and holistic design. All of the design elements come together to create a wonderful biophilic campus. The fostering of human connection to the natural world is evident from the smallest of details and patterns to the larger scales and systems of the project.
The campus features a number of biophilic design elements including natural lighting and ventilation, earth tones, natural shapes and forms, natural materials, twenty-four rain gardens, on-site annual bird count stations, and pathways that reveal the geomorphology of the surrounding land. The blurring of indoor/outdoor boundaries throughout the multiple buildings on-site, along with an incredible outdoor amphitheater, allows nature to creep in. Through careful consideration of the land, this building embodies the spirit of place and preserves the site’s pastoral history.
Laity Lodge - Texas, United States
Laity Lodge is a retreat center with a mission is to reinforce guests’ connection to themselves, each other, and the divine. This is done through deep and meaningful experiences with the natural world. Inspired by the intimate scale and natural features of the site, the design team’s primary goal was to create a place that could not be built anywhere else, for anyone else.
"Derived from the thoughtful listening of the land, the arrangement and sensitive fitting-in of new structures on an existing retreat site create nestled moments that still the senses and connect occupants to the beauty and grace of nature. Laity Lodge’s use of natural and indigenous building materials reflect local resources and honouring of place: cedar plank siding that will patina over time, corten metal panels, limestone finishes, slate finishes, and natural stone tile. Additionally, the project was intended to be a “sponge” for collecting and cleaning runoff before reaching the river below, a unique integration of on-site water management and biophilia."
Womb with a View - Oregon, United States
Designed for a single family, Womb with a View is a curvilinear wood-clad residence that offers a place of refuge, recovery and rejuvenation with an interior environment that is both spacious and cozy. This home residence has a variety of ceiling heights, interior wall surfaces of natural materials (wood, stone, and plaster) and focused views to the surrounding landscape.
Sufficiently large windows allow natural light in the eclectic interior and a 250-year-old Sitka Spruce anchors the layout of the home, which serves both as a shade canopy, and also provides habitat for a multitude of coastal creatures.
This home residence is recognised for its its care to interior details, textures, and a delightful use of wood throughout. This treehouse beach cabin alludes a warmth that is especially inviting.
"There is a sweetness to this project that sings of love and reverence of nature. The conscious decisions to connect one with the natural world internally are clearly reflected in the design concept."
Which Biophilic designs did you enjoy most? Which enhance the human-nature connection the most to you? Which will you visit? Let us know in the comments below