How Architecture is Inspired and Enhanced by the Natural Environment

How to Use Natural Environments to Inspire Design

Natural designs and systems found in the biosphere are naturally efficient, and beautiful to look at. For an increasing number of building designers, nature is a key source of inspiration.  Architects make use of a wide variety of organic construction materials, to replicate shapes instinctively created by nature.

They also add natural green elements such as trees and plants to their final interior design.  Incorporating nature’s designs or natural materials is a way of celebrating the blend of the natural and built environment while at the same time adding unique features to a property. 

How to Use Natural Environments to Inspire Designs

How to Use Natural Environments to Inspire Designs

Incorporating Natural Features and Greenery 

The most obvious way to use nature in design is to incorporate it directly into a building. This is done by using it to enhance the structure of a building or adding it to the interior design. Bringing the outside in is known as biophilia. As a trend, biophilia has been shown to improve well-being as exposure to natural light, landscape features and greenery can all help to reduce stress, improve energy levels and encourage socializing.

Architects use living trees to create living buildings as extreme examples of biophilia. However, more common and easier to replicate in homes and offices is the inclusion of large indoor trees and plants to enhance and refresh the interior design, purify the air, and boost mood. 

Borrowing Organic Shapes and Patterns

 Patterns and shapes can be borrowed from nature to create striking and unique buildings. This design approach is known as biomorphic architecture. Vegetation, animal anatomy, and natural habitats can all be used as sources of inspiration.

Famous examples of biomorphic architecture include the supertree structures of Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay and Beijing’s Olympic stadium. Chinese culture traditionally embraces the balance of nature, and construction.

Replicating Natural Systems and Processes

Biometric architecture mimics more accurately the systems and processes of nature. Due to their strength and efficiency, beehives have long inspired several building designers. Research on the construction of hives has shown that hexagons are one of the best shapes to use when dividing space equally without having to use excessive structural support.

The Italian architect, Gianluca Santosuosso has taken the idea of replicating beehives to the extreme through his futuristic design for honeycomb-shaped housing, merging natural design with human innovation to offer a versatile and efficient way of living. 

The natural world has always exerted a strong influence on building design. From the inclusion of landscaping features to copying and adapting biological building processes, nature enhances both architectural structures and interior layouts.

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