What is Biophilic Architecture? Seven Main Principles (2024)

You may have heard about the term "biophilic architecture". But what exactly does it mean? And what are its main principles? In this article, we'll explore the concept of biophilic architecture, its main principles, examples of biophilia in architecture, the benefits of biophilic design, and the difference between biophilic and green architecture.

What is Biophilic Architecture? Seven Main Principles (1)

Biophilic architecture is a design philosophy that seeks to create buildings and spaces that connect people with nature. It incorporates natural elements, materials, and light to enhance the well-being and productivity of occupants and the built environment's sustainability. Biophilic design is based on the belief that humans have an innate connection to nature, and that by bringing elements of the natural world into our built environment, we can improve our health, happiness, and overall quality of life.

Main Principles of Biophilic Design

There are seven main principles of biophilic design:

  1. Nature in the Space: This principle involves incorporating natural elements into the built environment, such as plants, water features, and natural materials like wood and stone.

  2. Natural Shapes and Forms: This principle involves using natural shapes and forms in design, such as curves, arches, and irregular shapes.

  3. Natural Patterns and Textures: This principle involves using natural patterns and textures in design, such as wood grain, stone textures, and leaf patterns.

  4. Light and Shadow: This principle involves using natural light and shadow to create a sense of depth and dimension in a space.

  5. Color: This principle involves using colors found in nature, such as greens, blues, and earth tones, to create a calming and soothing environment.

  6. Views: This principle involves incorporating views of nature, such as landscapes and gardens, into the design of a space.

  7. Connection to Nature: This principle involves creating a connection to nature through the use of materials, textures, and elements that evoke a sense of the natural world.

3 Examples of Biophilia in Architecture

There are many great examples of biophilia in architecture, ranging from small design elements to entire buildings. Here are a few examples:

The Eden Project in Cornwall by Nicholas Grimshaw, England

The Eden Project features giant biomes that house thousands of plants from around the world, creating a biodiverse environment for visitors to explore.

Jewel Changi Airport by Safdie Architects in Singapore

What is Biophilic Architecture? Seven Main Principles (3)

Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore is one of the most impressive examples of biophilic architecture in the world. It shows what's possible when designers and architects prioritize the human experience of the built environment and incorporate natural elements into the design.

The Rain Vortex is just one of many natural elements in the design of Jewel Changi Airport. The building is filled with plants, trees, and greenery, and even has an indoor forest called the Shiseido Forest Valley. The idea behind all of these natural elements is to create a sense of connection to nature even in the midst of a busy airport.

The Bosco Verticale by Boeri Studio in Milan, Italy

What is Biophilic Architecture? Seven Main Principles (4)

The Bosco Verticale is a residential tower featuring over 900 trees and 20,000 plants, providing natural air purification and insulation for the building's occupants.

Benefits of Biophilic Design

  1. Improved well-being: Biophilic design has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress levels, and increase productivity.

  2. Environmental sustainability: By incorporating natural elements into the built environment, biophilic design can reduce energy consumption, water usage, and waste production.

  3. Increased property value: Biophilic design can increase the value of a property by making it more attractive to buyers and renters.

Difference Between Biophilic and Green Architecture

While biophilic architecture and green architecture share some similarities, there are also some key differences.

Green architecture focuses primarily on reducing the environmental impact of buildings through the use of sustainable materials, energy-efficient systems, and renewable energy sources.

On the other hand, biophilic architecture focuses more on the human experience of the built environment, seeking to improve well-being and productivity by connecting people with nature.

While both approaches are important for creating sustainable and healthy buildings, biophilic architecture places more emphasis on the psychological and emotional benefits of connecting with nature.

I hope you found this article useful! It's time to create spaces that are not only beautiful and functional but also promote health and happiness.

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What is Biophilic Architecture? Seven Main Principles (2024)


What is biophilic architecture? ›

Biophilic design is an approach to architecture that seeks to connect building occupants more closely to nature. Biophilic designed buildings incorporate things like natural lighting and ventilation, natural landscape features and other elements for creating a more productive and healthy built environment for people.

What is biophilic principles? ›

Biophilia is the inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature that even in the modern world. continues to be critical to people's physical and mental health and wellbeing (Wilson 1986, Kellert and Wilson 1993, Kellert 1997, 2012).

What are the elements of biophilic design? ›

This includes plant life, water and animals, as well as breezes, sounds, scents and other natural elements. Common examples include potted plants, flowerbeds, bird feeders, butterfly gardens, water features, fountains, aquariums, courtyard gardens and green walls or vegetated roofs.

What are 3 benefits of biophilic design? ›

Incorporating direct or indirect elements of nature into the built environment have been demonstrated through research to reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity, creativity and self reported rates of well-being.

What is an example of biophilia architecture? ›

Apple Park – California, USA. One of the most widely recognised examples of biophilic architecture, tech giant Apple's headquarters in California has been praised for its design and incorporation of nature.

What is the concept of biophilia? ›

: a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature : a desire or tendency to commune with nature.

What is the theory of biophilic? ›

The biophilia hypothesis is the belief that humans are genetically predisposed to be attracted to nature. It states that all humans inherently love the natural world. This idea that we are drawn to and need nature was first put forth by a man named Edward O. Wilson in his book, Biophilia, published in 1984.

What is biophilic pattern? ›

The 'biophilic design' trend is aimed at improving (interior) design to create surroundings that let people thrive. Office workers report improved creativity, productivity and wellbeing in spaces that feature natural elements or a connection to nature.

How does biophilic design work? ›

Biophilic design celebrates the idea of a city as a combination of urbanism, evolution, technology, and the natural environment. It enables us to experience nature and feel part of it, even in the most crowded cities.

What is the psychology behind biophilic design? ›

The biophilia hypothesis posits an innate biological and genetic connection between human and nature, including an emotional dimension to this connection. Biophilic design builds on this hypothesis in an attempt to design human-nature connections into the built environment.

What are the design considerations for biophilic design? ›

Connection with the Outdoors: Biophilic design blurs the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a seamless connection with nature. Features like large windows, open courtyards, and balconies enhance the occupants' connection to the natural environment.

What are the defining design principles of biophilic design? ›

A key aspect of biophilic design is making it regularly accessible to the people in the space, and users of a building spend much more time interacting with the interior than the exterior. Another important aspect is using smaller elements to create an overall setting, rather than focusing on small, individual areas.

What human system is impacted by biophilia? ›

Biophilic design has been found to support cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being. Biophilia is defined as the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings.

What are the disadvantages of biophilic design? ›

If not properly maintained, natural elements can become unsightly or even hazardous. Allergies: For some employees, exposure to natural elements such as plants or flowers can trigger allergies or other health issues. Space limitations: Biophilic design may not be practical for all workspaces.

Is biophilic design good for ADHD? ›

Believe it or not, exposure to nature or a space that mimics nature. actually reduces the symptoms of ADHD. Which is why biophilic design is actually a popular. choice when designing for people with ADHD.

What is the difference between green architecture and biophilic design? ›

Difference Between Biophilic and Green Architecture

While both approaches are important for creating sustainable and healthy buildings, biophilic architecture places more emphasis on the psychological and emotional benefits of connecting with nature.

Is biophilic design expensive? ›

Biophilia is increasingly recognised as an important element in building design for creating spaces that support health and wellbeing. Luckily, biophilic design does not require extensive or expensive interventions to have an impact.

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