L+ Architects

L+ Biophilia

Today we find ourselves in the Age of the Human. A period where we as humans no longer live in harmony with the natural world.

‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.’ – Albert Einstein

There is a disconnect between us and nature as urbanisation continues to harm this connection, but is there a way to change this?

In this blog we detail the importance of the connection between the natural world and the human world.

L+ Architects was created by married duo Lindsey Webster, a Landscape Architect and Pablo Lambrechts, a Principal Architect. Through their designs and experience they produced over the years, they feel the key to people’s well-being and mental health is built into the relationship between incorporating nature into a design with the natural elements. By using light, air, form, materials, and space and to bring the outside-in, they seek to create a multi-sensory complex web of the 3rd dimension to enhance mental health and wellbeing. With the world being thrown into a global pandemic in 2020, they realised that this vision was more crucial than before.

The ideology of Biophilia, was born from the idea that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.

The term ‘biophilia’ was originally used by German-born American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973), which described biophilia as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.” The term was later used by American biologist Edward O. Wilson in his work Biophilia (1984), which proposed that the tendency of humans to focus on and to affiliate with nature and other life-forms has, in part, a genetic basis. In this book ‘Biophilia’ Edward O. Wilson states, “Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life.”

These words are reflected in our designs and work. In this blog we take a look at the fundamental premise of Biophilia and how it can be achieved through these basic principles:

Light

A key part of biophilic design is light. Lighting is all about the interplay between light and shadow. You can create this exchange by experimenting with dynamic or diffused light that mimics sunlight, moonlight or even the glow of the stars. You can also create designs that utilise the natural light, allowing the outside in. Windows open the space and create a sight line for the occupant into the outside, whether its trees, fields, or the ocean, it provides individuals with a connection to the outdoors.

Air

Another key element in biophilic design is the natural element of air. Biophilic design has been found to improve indoor air quality. Research has shown green walls and active walls with their higher density of plants, increases airflow through the soil, removing pollutants and cleaning the air. This has a direct impact on the occupants and residents’ immune system, health, wellbeing and even mood. Incorporating biophilia in design can also increase the humidity as well as naturally cool a space, providing residents with an energy efficient solution.

Materials

Through biophilic design we talk about bringing the natural elements in through light, air, and plants themselves, but what about the very structure of the building? Let’s look at the materials used in biophilic design. The value system behind biophilic design means using sustainably sourced organic materials such as:

An elevated biophilic design concept could also incorporate circular economy materials made from a variety of new and evolving materials like coffee grinds, railroad timber, seaweed, and coconut fibre.

Through our designs here at L+ Architects we want to ensure our visual and volumetric impact respects the environment while corresponding to its urban function, by using sustainable materials we are reconnecting with nature and creating harmony with urbanisation and the natural world.

Form

The term organic architecture was coined by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Organic architecture is a type of architectural design wherein buildings are inspired by, built around, and blend in with their natural surroundings. This ethos is prevalent through our designs.

This principle is embodied by the shape and form of the design. This can be brought to life through a variety of ways such as:

Natural materials have a calming effect, along with patterns and colours that remind us of the great outdoors.

Space

Beautifully aligned with form, the element of space in biophilic design further aims to rekindle the relationship with the outside and in. We have unlearned how to live in harmony with nature and lost the meaning of its importance.

When we mention ‘space’ in design, we refer to the area that a shape or form occupies. It also refers to the background against which we see the shape or form. By integrating the natural elements into the design, we seek to create a more open and fluid space, blurring the lines between the man-made design and the natural elements.

Bringing the outside-in

This is the core principle of what biophilic design seeks to achieve. So, what is the key to bringing the outdoors in?

Just look around you. Use the area surrounding your building. Let the views outside your window inspire the colour palette. Use natural textures like wood and stone to add visual depth and dimension, these elements and textures work to balance the man-made elements of metal and straight lines in your residential or commercial property.

There are two key dimensions to biophilic design, first, is ‘organic’, which refers directly, indirectly, or symbolically to nature. The second dimension is ‘place-based’, which defines the relationship between the built environment or the landscape. By creating a synergy between these two dimensions you allow the outside in.

In this blog we have identified the elements of:

All to understand the importance of biophilic design today and how it is our responsibility to mend the forgotten relationship we have with the natural world.

We know incorporating natural elements and bringing the outside into our space, increases connectivity to the natural environment using direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.

Today ‘Biophilia’ is one of the most popular buzzwords in modern home and workplace design. To us at L+ Architects, ‘biophilia’ is embodied in one of our favourite quotes, ‘‘I love not Man the less, but Nature more’’- Lord Byron. Biophilic design is a way of designing spaces that help to reconnect us with nature, creating peace and tranquillity for the occupant.

Here at L+ Architects we seek to echo these principles through our work and designs. Our work is refined and original, astute, and contemplated. We are inspired by shape, form, light and movement. Forming spaces that blur the inside and out and creating a dialogue between man and nature.

The environment is at the heart of our design and approach, resulting in more efficient properties that promote a new way of living and evolved lifestyles.

To find out how we can bring the outside in, on your next project contact us today – https://www.lplusarchitects.com/contact/

L+ Architects

L+ Architects

L+ Architects is a biophilic, design-led studio that wants to design a greener world by intertwining the natural elements into commercial and residential buildings.

With our innovative approach through modern methods of construction, we provide our clients with awe-inspiring, future-proof designs which are cost-effective.

At L + Architects we want to ensure best practice in every aspect of our approach. Talk to us today about your next project – [email protected]