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Biomimicry: The Latest Architecture and News

Jean Nouvel + OXO Architectes design Mountainous Mixed-Use Campus in Antibes

09:00 - 31 January, 2019
Jean Nouvel + OXO Architectes design Mountainous Mixed-Use Campus in Antibes, via Compagnie de Phalsbourg
via Compagnie de Phalsbourg

Ateliers Jean Nouvel has collaborated with French practice OXO Architectes on a competition-winning design for a mountainous campus in the Sophia Antipolis technology park in Antibes, France. The “Ecotone Antibes” will serve as the main entrance to the technology park, which is home to over 2,000 companies.

Described as a 21st-century campus for France, the 40,000-square-meter mountainous structure is covered in lush vegetation, containing offices, a hotel, amenities, and co-working spaces. The campus, a rare exercise in biomimicry for the South of France, sought to capture the site’s rich landscaped surroundings, translating a natural ethos to the hard, technological campus.

via Compagnie de Phalsbourg via Compagnie de Phalsbourg via Compagnie de Phalsbourg via Compagnie de Phalsbourg + 12

Semaphore: an Ecological Utopia Proposed by Vincent Callebaut

11:00 - 5 January, 2019
Semaphore: an Ecological Utopia Proposed by Vincent Callebaut, Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

In a design proposal for Soprema’s new company headquarters in Strasbourg, France, Vincent Callebaut Architectures envisions an 8,225 square-meter ecological utopia. The building, called Semaphore, is described in the program as a “green flex office for nomad co-workers” and is dedicated to urban agriculture and employee well-being.

An eco-futuristic building, Semaphore is inspired by biomimicry and intended as a poetic landmark, as well as aiming to serve as a showcase for Soprema’s entire range of insulation, waterproofing, and greening products. The design is an ecological prototype of the green city of the future, working to achieve a symbiosis between humans and nature.

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures + 23

Resilience and Adaptation

08:57 - 4 August, 2018
Resilience and Adaptation, Event poster
Event poster

The Architectural Association Visiting School Amazon is organising for the fourth consecutive year a workshop in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest open to design and architecture students and professionals in which an experimental floating structure will be designed and constructed in collaboration with Atelier Marko Brajovic and Ecofloat.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures Wins Public Vote for Millennial Vertical Forest Competition

12:00 - 31 March, 2018
Vincent Callebaut Architectures Wins Public Vote for Millennial Vertical Forest Competition, Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

For the "Imagine Angers" international design competition, Vincent Callebaut Architectures worked in collaboration with Bouygues Immobilier group to submit a proposal for the French city at the intersection of social and technological innovation, with a focus on ecology and hospitality. Named Arboricole, meaning “tree” and “cultivation,” this live-work-play environment gives back as much to the environment as it does its users. Although WY-TO prevailed in the competition, the Callebaut scheme succeeded in winning the public vote.

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures + 26

Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself

09:30 - 15 February, 2017
Biomimicry with Steel Sheets: Designing "DNA" Into Materials Can Create Architecture that Shapes Itself, X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani
X-POD 138 pavilion structure, currently installed at the Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, New York. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani

This article was originally published by Autodesk's Redshift publication as "Haresh Lalvani on Biomimicry and Architecture That Designs Itself."

It’s the holy grail for any biomimicry design futurist: buildings and structures that use generative geometry to assemble and repair themselves, grow, and evolve all on their own. Buildings that grow like trees, assembling their matter through something like genomic instructions encoded in the material itself.

To get there, architecture alone won’t cut it. And as such, one designer, Haresh Lalvani, is among the most successful at researching this fundamental revision of architecture and fabrication. (Or is it “creation and evolution”?) He employs a wildly interdisciplinary range of tools to further this inquiry: biology; mathematics; computer science; and, most notably, art.

Xurf Curved Space, 2008. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani Xurf Ripples, 2007. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani This self-shaping example from 2009—with its variable openings—has implications for building facades, ceilings, and wall systems. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani A number code laser-cut into this GR FLORA series from 2012 established the self-shaping process. As Lalvani's team changed one number of the code, the perimeter edge increased in relation to the area of the surface, and it crumpled. Image Courtesy of Haresh Lalvani + 11

Aedas Releases Plans for Blooming Bamboo-Inspired Tower in China

16:00 - 10 January, 2017
Aedas Releases Plans for Blooming Bamboo-Inspired Tower in China, Courtesy of Aedas
Courtesy of Aedas

Aedas has released its design for Gmond International Building, a representative regeneration project located in the old town area of Shenzhen, China. The 200-meter super high-rise building is inspired by the traditional form of Chinese totem bamboo, which symbolizes prosperity and moral integrity.

With nearly 60,000 square meters of gross floor area, the building will house the headquarters for Tellus-Gmond, Grade 5A lettable office spaces, and a jewelry-trading center.

Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas Courtesy of Aedas + 6

LAVA Unveils Transformation of Energy Storage Center into a City Icon in Germany

12:00 - 16 October, 2016
LAVA Unveils Transformation of Energy Storage Center into a City Icon in Germany, Courtesy of LAVA
Courtesy of LAVA

LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) has won the competition to redesign an energy park and energy storage building in Heidelberg, Germany, for the Stadtwerke Heidelberg. Currently a cylindrically shaped storage center, the space will be transformed into a dynamic sculpture, city icon, and knowledge hub for sustainable energy, fully accessible to the public with city views.

In order to display the concepts of energy transition, decentralization, networking, flexibility and adaptability, the project will feature a multi-layered façade structure inspired by geometries in nature like leaves, spider webs, and reptile skins. “The result is a dynamic, ever-changing surface of light and shadow, animated by wind, turning the building into a beacon of a dynamic new energy regime.”

Courtesy of LAVA Courtesy of LAVA Courtesy of LAVA Courtesy of LAVA + 17

Insect-Wing-Inspired Design Wins Moscow Circus School Competition

06:00 - 12 September, 2016
Insect-Wing-Inspired Design Wins Moscow Circus School Competition , Courtesy of Maryam Fazel and Belinda Ercan
Courtesy of Maryam Fazel and Belinda Ercan

The team of architects Maryam Fazel and Belinda Ercan, from Iran and Germany, respectively, have won first prize in the competition for the design of the Moscow Circus School launched by the Architectural Competition Concours d’Architecture (AC-CA).

The winning proposal, entitled Elytra, is an “eye-catching, cutting-edge, [and] unconventional” design that will tower over Moscow’s Tverskoy District, an area which features a burgeoning artistic scene.

Inspired by the forewings of insects—called elytra—the project opens upwards as a protective shell, and will feature both public and private space.

Courtesy of Maryam Fazel and Belinda Ercan Courtesy of Maryam Fazel and Belinda Ercan Courtesy of Maryam Fazel and Belinda Ercan Courtesy of Maryam Fazel and Belinda Ercan + 12

Architects of Invention's Coral Holiday Apartments Design Utilizes Biomimicry to Resemble Coral in Seychelles

06:00 - 23 June, 2016
Architects of Invention's Coral Holiday Apartments Design Utilizes Biomimicry to Resemble Coral in Seychelles, Courtesy of Architects of Invention
Courtesy of Architects of Invention

Architects of Invention has unveiled their design for the Coral Holiday Apartments, an upscale lifestyle community in Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa. Located on the reclaimed portion of the main island of Seychelles, the project will feature professionally serviced apartments, a spa, several restaurants, a clubhouse, a pool, private marina and direct access to the beach.

Let Your Building "Breathe" With This Pneumatic Façade Technology

09:30 - 11 June, 2016

Have you ever seen a building that breathes through thousands of pores? That may now be a possibility thanks to Tobias Becker’s Breathing Skins Project. Based on the concept of biomimicry, the technology is inspired by organic skins that adjust their permeability to control the necessary flow of light, matter and temperature between the inside and the outside. In addition to these performative benefits, the constantly changing appearance of these façades provides a rich interplay between the exterior natural environment and interior living spaces.

Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project Courtesy of The Breathing Skins Project + 8

Financial Times Article Details How Biomimicry Can be Applied to Architecture

14:00 - 5 June, 2016
Financial Times Article Details How Biomimicry Can be Applied to Architecture, © Flickr CC User kudumomo
© Flickr CC User kudumomo

In a recent article published by the Financial Times, architect and public speaker Michael Pawlyn delves into how biomimicry can be applied to architecture in order to solve design problems and create a more sustainable future. Even in very early examples, biomimicry has been critical in the development of architecture, for example when Filippo Brunelleschi studied eggshells to create a thinner and lighter dome for his cathedral in Florence. In a modern example, biomimicry has been utilized—through the examination of termite mounds—to create cool environments without air conditioning in warm climates such as in Zimbabwe. 

Elytra Filament Pavilion Explores Biomimicry at London's Victoria and Albert Museum

08:00 - 25 May, 2016
Elytra Filament Pavilion Explores Biomimicry at London's Victoria and Albert Museum , © NAARO via the V&A
© NAARO via the V&A

The Victoria and Albert Museum has unveiled its latest installation: the Elytra Filament Pavilion, a project displaying the culmination of four years of research on the integration of architecture, engineering, and biomimicry principles, in an exploration of how biological fiber systems can be transferred to architecture.

The 200-square-meter structure is inspired by lightweight construction principles found in nature, namely "the fibrous structures of the forewing shells of flying beetles known as elytra," states a press release.

LifeObject: Israel Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale to Study the Relationship Between Biology and Architecture

08:00 - 19 May, 2016
LifeObject: Israel Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale to Study the Relationship Between Biology and Architecture, LifeObject Close-Up. Image Courtesy of Xhibtion
LifeObject Close-Up. Image Courtesy of Xhibtion

Israel has unveiled its theme for the 2016 Venice Biennale: “LifeObject: Merging Architecture and Biology”. Their pavilion will be comprised of a large-scale sculptural installation and seven speculative architectural scenarios relating to Israel. The exhibition will focus on the relationship between biology and architecture, acting as a “research oriented platform.”

Architectural Innovation Inspired by Nature

06:00 - 3 March, 2015
Architectural Innovation Inspired by Nature, © Flickr CC User kudumomo
© Flickr CC User kudumomo

From bricks grown from bacteria to cement derived from the reef building process of coral, biomimicry has taken the world by storm. A collection of products inspired by this phenomenon are showcased in Bloomberg’s article “14 Smart Inventions Inspired by Nature: Biomimicry,” ranging from transportation breakthroughs to ingenious feats of engineering. Read on after the break for two highlighted architectural inventions inspired by the natural world.

Video: Agence Chartier-Corbasson Talks Organic Skyscrapers

00:00 - 14 February, 2015

© Crane.tv
© Crane.tv

Zaha Hadid's Student Envisions an Antarctic Port For Tourism and Research

01:00 - 25 September, 2014
Zaha Hadid's Student Envisions an Antarctic Port For Tourism and Research, Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop
Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop

Antarctic icebergs morph into a sprawling multi-functional hub for research, transport and accommodation in one of the latest projects to come out of Zaha Hadid's Studio at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Designed by architecture student Sergiu-Radu Pop, the project hypothesizes a point of arrival for the world's final frontier of development. The project employs biomimicry as a primary design tool, replicating the jagged asymmetrical edges of ice formations along the coast of the southern ocean.

Enter the Transformable Antarctic Research Facility with more photos and info after the break

Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop Courtesy of Sergiu-Radu Pop + 17

Animal Printheads, Biomimicry and More: How Nature Will Shape the Built Environment of the Future

00:00 - 8 August, 2014
Animal Printheads, Biomimicry and More: How Nature Will Shape the Built Environment of the Future , © John Becker
© John Becker

Biomimicry is quickly emerging as one of the next architectural frontiers. New manufacturing processes such as 3D printing, coupled with the drive to make buildings more environmentally sustainable, have led to a wave of projects that are derived from natural phenomena or even constructed with biological materials. A recent example of this trend is “Hy-Fi,” this summer’s MoMA PS1 design that is constructed of organic and compostable eco-bricks. Other projects such as MIT Media Lab’s Silk Pavilion have taken biological innovation a step further by actually using a biometric construction processes - around 6,500 silkworms wove the Silk Pavilion's membrane. “Animal Printheads,” as Geoff Manaugh calls them in his article "Architecture-By-Bee and Other Animal Printheads," have already proven to be a viable part of the manufacturing process in art, and perhaps in the future, the built environment as well. But what happens when humans engineer animals to 3D print other materials?

The Living’s Hy-Fi, winning design of the 2014 Young Architects Program. The Museum of Modern Art and MoMAPS1. Image © The Living MIT Media Lab's Silk Pavilion. Image © Steven Keating Silkworms weaving MIT Media Lab's Silk Pavilion. Image © Steven Keating © John Becker + 10

When Biology Inspires Architecture: An Interview with Doris Kim Sung

01:00 - 14 May, 2014
When Biology Inspires Architecture: An Interview with Doris Kim Sung , Much of dO|Su Studio Architecture's work is with Thermal-Bimetals, a laminated sheet metal material that can expand and contract at different temperatures. Image © Brandon Shigeta
Much of dO|Su Studio Architecture's work is with Thermal-Bimetals, a laminated sheet metal material that can expand and contract at different temperatures. Image © Brandon Shigeta

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Before attending Columbia University for her Masters in Architecture, Los Angeles-based architect Doris Kim Sung took a fairly non-traditional approach to becoming an architect: she was a biologist. Naturally then, Sung’s architectural work tends to take inspiration from the biological world, particularly in the way she experiments and innovates with materials. Much of her work involves thermal bimetals, a material that expands and contracts with temperature swings; it can even act as a sun shade and ventilation system, without the need for electricity.

So where does a biologist-turned-architect draw inspiration from? We interviewed Ms. Sung to find out for ourselves -- the responses, like her work at dO|Su Architecture, are simply fascinating.