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Biophilic Design: The Latest Architecture and News

3XN GXN Unveils Design for Hybrid-Timber Office Building in Amsterdam’s Zuidas District

3XN GXN has revealed its design for Mahler 1, a 15-storey mixed-use office building. The structure, developed in collaboration with Victory Group, Icon Real Estate, and Erik Dhont Landscape Architects, features a hybrid-timber construction system that creates a stepped volume, breaking down the building’s mass. At the street level, the development offers a wide variety of public amenities, striving to become an active hub for both residents and office workers. The project is expected to begin construction in the first half of 2025 and conclude in late 2027.

Landscape Architects Lead Bhutan’s Mindfulness City

“The Mindfulness City will be a sustainable city. To be mindful is to be aware — to perform best,” said Giulia Frittoli, partner and head of landscape at BIG. The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked Buddhist country in the eastern Himalayas, nestled between China and India. It covers 14,000 square miles and has a population of nearly 800,000.

The Royal Office of Bhutan asked BIG, Arup, and Cistri to develop a plan for a new Mindfulness City in Gelephu in southern Bhutan, near the border with India. The city will span 386 square miles and include a new international airport, railway connections, hydroelectric dam, university, spiritual center, and public spaces.

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2023 RIBA House of the Year Award: Hayhurst & Co.'s 'Green House' Wins Best Residential Design in the UK

The 2023 RIBA House of the Year Award has been awarded to “Green House.” Designed by Hayhurst & Co, this polycarbonate-lined residential family home was inspired by nature. The annual award recognizes the house as the best example of residential design in the UK. Described as a “domestic greenhouse” and an “extraordinary ordinary house” by the RIBA jury, the design reflects nature’s ability to influence design.

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Sound Off, Color On: 4 Creative Ways to Integrate Colorful Acoustic Panels in Interiors

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There’s something about the saturated hues of blossoming springtime flowers and the fiery, warm tones of a sunset descending upon a cityscape that brings us joy. Humans crave color. In fact, we’ve been fascinated by them since the beginning of our existence. So much so that everything from the color of our clothes to the brightly illuminated pixels on this screen is an attempt to recreate –and enhance– the vibrant shades present in nature, finding in them a source of inspiration and vitality. Our brains are wired to link colors with sensations and experiences: the lush greens of a forest evoke feelings of tranquility and renewal, while the deep blues of the ocean stir a sense of mystery and adventure. It is this ability to elicit emotion that makes colors an invaluable tool for architects and designers –and which also explains why trends are moving away from the once-reigning neutral minimalism towards a more maximalist aesthetic that embraces pops of color, dimension and playful texture.  

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Making the Economic Case for Biophilic Design

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

A simple walk in the park will relax even the most tightly wound individual. But what about the places where people spend far more of their time, such as schools, office buildings, and hospitals? What role can design play in incorporating nature into those environments? And at what additional cost? Bill Browning has published a book—The Economics of Biophilia: Why Designing With Nature in Mind Makes Financial Sense, 2nd Edition (written with Catie Ryan and Dakota Walker)—arguing that the cost of bringing nature into building projects isn’t prohibitive but additive. An environmental strategist with a long history in green building, Browning is one of the founding partners (with architects Bob Fox and Rick Cook) of the sustainable design consultancy Terrapin Bright Green. Recently I talked with Browning about biophilic design—and, because he was a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council’s board of directors, about the strengths and shortcomings of the LEED rating system.

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Rewilding in Architecture: Concepts, Applications, and Examples

In an age where humanity's detrimental impact on the environment has become increasingly evident, the concept of rewilding is emerging as a powerful approach to conservation and ecological restoration. In line with growing attention on landscape architecture in recent years, the idea of removing human intervention from our natural surroundings in order to restore a stable equilibrium seems to offer a low-effort, ethereal way to right fundamental climate wrongs. But is a lack of meddling in nature really all there is to rewilding, and how does this relate to architecture and design? We look at key concepts, applications, and examples to find out.

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Disruptive Materials and Finishes for Future Home Interiors

How are contemporary homes pushing the boundaries of innovation for the future? Currently, these spaces tend towards clean lines, neutral colors and flexible spaces, with the integration of technological features and automation. But even though there are certain timeless features that define neutral contemporary interiors, we can begin to identify future trends by analyzing architectural projects that differ from the traditional, recognizing disruptive interior materials and finishes guided by technological advances that are shaping complex and changing homes of the future. The selection of these innovative materials conveys a meticulous decision process in building the structure and identity of a space. Depending on the context and typology of a space, there is a growing awareness of how materials impact an environment, and how new technologies are creating smart solutions that can mitigate their effects indoors.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a key role in visualizing the interiors of the homes of the future, and together with the exploration of biophilic, intelligent and 3D-printed materials, is stimulating new ways of approaching how we will live indoors moving forward.

4 Ways to Bring Biophilia Into the Urban Workspace

Biophilic office design is not just a passing trend. It rather represents a seismic shift in how we design and build our office spaces and work environments, with every employer from multi-national giants of the industry to two-person bedroom startups getting on board. But this weighed-down bandwagon of empathetic, wellness-focused workspace still has plenty of room on the back.

Biophilic-Inspired Design Takes Center Stage: How Bricks Bring Nature In

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Largely driven by rural migration to cities and overall population growth, 68% of people worldwide will live in urban areas by 2050. By doing so, many will benefit from greater access to basic services, proximity to public transportation, and better education and employment opportunities. But the pursuit of living urbanized lives also leads to isolation from the outdoors –be it a forest, a meadow or the mountains– that can negatively impact our physical and mental health. Exposure to nature has long been proven to reduce stress levels, boost mood, foster productivity and, above all, enhance well-being. So, considering we typically spend around 93% of our time indoors (and that the pandemic has magnified that statistic), now more than ever we find ourselves seeking a connection with the outdoors and all its inherent benefits. Architects thus face the important challenge of bringing nature in, which is precisely where biophilic design comes into play.