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Biophilic design in the Workplace

Biophilic design in architecture and interior design is growing momentum and entire cities have devoted efforts to incorporate natural systems into their urban designs.

Biophilic design in architecture and interior design is growing momentum. It has its roots in the evidence from neuroscience and psychology that our mental and physical well-being can be improved by bringing natural elements into construction materials and interior designs.

Many modern workspaces have invested in biophilic design to improve the quality of life of their employees, meet sustainability goals, and increase productivity. Entire cities have devoted their efforts to incorporating natural systems into their urban designs. Its popularity has grown from scientific evidence that biophilic design improves productivity, aids focus, reduces stress, aids recovery from illness, and positively impacts mental health. It also goes hand in hand with sustainability.

Some examples include using skylights for natural light; indoor plants and living walls and rooftops; water features; curved walls; large floor-to-ceiling windows to capture the landscape; open-air atriums allowing sunlight and fresh air into the interior of a building; along with images of nature and neutral colours that mimic the natural environment and natural materials such as stone and wood.

There are a number of renowned examples of biophilic design in many commercial buildings. For example, the Art Nouveau Hotel Tassel in Brussels designed by architect Victor Horta in 1893 where the interior space features botanical forms of curvaceous tiered steps and vine like tendrils painted on the wall and represented on the bannisters, railings and floor mosaics.

Another is the “Moss and Birch Garden” in the New York Times building designed by Renzo Piano in Times Square, New York, creates an oasis of calm in the centre of the building that everyone must pass by as they enter or leave the building.

While these are two grand examples, biophilic design elements can be applied in even the smallest and most modest of spaces. Tasbuilt Commercial is proud to have collaborated to build a number of great examples that help to create calm and improve well-being and productivity.

Tasbuilt was privileged to help design and build Tin Mountain accommodation in Northern Tasmania, which caters for groups keen to take to the mountain bike trails of the Blue Derby. Key biophilic design elements include the use of

  • large floor-to-ceiling windows to capture the views and opening onto a balcony to allow fresh air and light to enter the building
  • the use of natural stone and timber to bring the outdoors in
  • a neutral colour palette throughout, and
  • artwork that reflects natural plant forms.
Dave Groves Photography 53 Main St 04
Dave Groves Photography 53 Main St 17

For another project, Tasbuilt Commercial worked with the Channel Christian School and Jaws Architects to develop these striking classrooms and covered learning areas. The classrooms are packed with features, including

  • double-glazed skylights to let the light in yet keep the temperature comfortable
  • raking ceilings with acoustic panelling to minimise noise and create a feeling of spaciousness
  • large covered timber deck enabling indoor and outdoor class activities regardless of the weather, and
  • timber-framed, glazed, barn sliding doors enabling flexibility with the floor plan and a nod to nature.

Externally, the extensive use of Blackbutt Hardwood cladding and decking creates a warm and inviting welcome and sits well in the environment. Building these modular classrooms offsite also meant there was minimal disruption to student learning and the school's day-to-day operations.

There are thousands of clear examples and virtually endless ways in which you can embrace these biophilic design principles to keep people connected to nature - from natural materials to living plants, murals and outdoor seating areas and increased natural light and ventilation.

Talk to one of our Consultants on 1800 639 310 to help you create a place for wellbeing and productivity without breaking the budget!


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