Integrating Greenery Into The Home For A Naturally Healthy Interior.
The garden—magnificent and restorative—is resplendent when incorporated into the home. The advantages are more than just aesthetic; they provide stress relief and wellness.
In today’s new landscape, the home serves as many things; the workplace, school, a dining establishment, a gym, etc. It must, however, still be your refuge and a place that feels good to be in. With that, I thought I would offer you some biophilic inspiration.
Biophilic Design — based on the concept of biophilia philosophy — is the theory that people have an innate tendency to seek out nature and natural elements. The design creates a symbiotic relationship with an organic environment, allowing horticulture and vegetation to weave around man-made structures. The term is new, but its use dates back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. This newsletter serves as a primer in the field.
Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm first noted biophilia in his 1973 book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.
He described it as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.”
Biophilic Design emphasizes light and space and the relationship between the space and the natural elements it incorporates.
Today, high-end hotels and commercial environments take great advantage of the use. Spaces that blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor areas use plant walls, woods and stone, water features, glass, open space, natural light, views of nature, and nature-inspired architectural patterns. They offer a tactile and visual experience. Hotel examples vary from the Tozeur in Tunisia, built around a palm tree grove, to the Manai Project, where architects design treehouses in the shapes of seed-pods behind the National Singapore Zoo and night safari.
One of the best examples for a commercial venue was created for Apple by Eckersley O’Callaghan and Nigel Young at Foster+Partners Studio for the Apple Store, Macau, Sands Cotai. Talk about a grand scale. Below, you are looking at the retail floor's interior with bamboo planters cascading up into the light lantern.
PHOTO COURTESY NIGEL YOUNG/FOSTER+PARTNERS
In a more rustic approach, the Torre de Palma Wine Hotel in Portugal designed its master suites with a more sculpted and refined aesthetic. I love the carvings of birds in the tree branches and the chandelier installed in an actual birdcage. Very clever.
PHOTO COURTESY TORRE DE PALMA WINE HOTEL, PORTUGAL
Biophilic design services incorporate environmental psychology, endocrinology, and neuroscience into their architectural and urban planning projects. The addition of horticulture has quantifiable health and well-being benefits, resulting in higher productivity and retention rates, improved student test scores, faster patient recovery rates, and increased real estate values.
You can do this in your home.
Some of the most beautiful interiors and architectural design incorporates living arboriculture into their designs.
For instance, the beautiful house below, by Toby Long Design, is a perfect example of the plant taking center stage. Bamboo is a fast grower and needs plenty of light and water. You are looking at black bamboo, and if you have never seen this unique bamboo in person, the culms (stems) turn to ebony in their second season, and they are beautiful.
PHOTO COURTESY TOBY LONG DESIGN
Modern meets organic. Interior design and architecture have not been the same since biophilia entered the picture. Mixing organic shapes and patterns into geometric structures serves to expand the style.
There is no doubt about the beauty and the solace one obtains in a natural setting.
As a designer, I am very connected to nature and try to incorporate it into my projects. I believe it adds a calming presence in our lives, which these days feels more than necessary. Look around your own home and see what you can incorporate. Even a simple bouquet of bright, cheerful flowers will uplift a room and your spirits.