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Biophilic Architecture: It Matters to Humanity

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From ancient Rome to the modern world, we are connected to nature.

The Roman poet Horace wrote, “This is what I prayed for – a piece of land – not so very big, with a garden and, near the house, a spring that never fails, and a bit of wood to round it off.”

Horace wanted a peaceful space to call his own, a place that allowed him to become one with nature. Thousands of years later, isn’t that exactly what we all still want and need?

This is why biophilic architecture, or the art of designing buildings and dwellings that incorporate nature and natural surroundings, matters to modern homeowners. Let’s dive into what biophilic design-build projects include to help you determine how you can incorporate these various elements into your home.

Good for You and the Earth
If you are attracted to indoor spaces that feel like outdoor spaces and vice versa, there is a reason for this. As humans, we are directly impacted by nature. It calms us, energizes us, and inspires us to be and do more. Rarely do natural surroundings depress or discourage us.

 Unsurprisingly, biophilic design-build projects lean toward using materials that are better for the environment, thus also making them better for you. Lower VOCs, minimal off-gassing and less toxicity can help ensure your new home or renovation is helping care for this planet and its inhabitants.

Water, Air and Light, Naturally
When your design-build firm sets out to create a space that is biophilic in nature, you’ll see the architect creatively including elements such as:

• A water connection, which could include indoor water features, such as a small pond, a babbling stream and even an interior waterfall.

• A visual connection that might include large windows, thoughtful outdoor living spaces and even retractable glass walls.

• Airflow and light variance, which is meant to mimic nature in everything from humidity levels to lighting placement and intensity or softness. This could include strategic window and door placement and proper ventilation systems.

Texture and Touchability of Materials
Wood, natural fibers and earthy patterns and palettes are appropriate choices for biophilic-based dwellings, as they carry a strong emotional impact for those who experience them.

Humans weren’t meant to live surrounded by plastic and polyester, but rather by trees and leafy textures. The interior and exterior aesthetic of this type of space are meant to bring its inhabitants back to their roots and help them feel grounded. The success at which this is happening has made biophilic design more than just a trend. It is a lifestyle, a therapy and a sustainable approach to dwelling on this earth.

Design-Build Trend
Personal wellness is on the rise.

This is yet another thing that is becoming more of a lifestyle and less of a trend. Personal wellness is at the forefront of our culture today. That’s why extensive research has been done into the benefits of biophilic dwellings, revealing how they reduce stress, improve brain function and enhance or uplift emotions and moods.

Written by: Kathleen Jennison 

Before becoming an interior designer, Kathleen Jennison worked as a certified public accountant for a national firm. A near-fatal car accident changed her career path and life forever. She suffered serious brain injuries, and her doctors suggested she take art classes to help with her rehabilitation. With her newfound love for design, she studied at the Art Institute in Sacramento, obtaining her bachelor’s degree in interior design. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and has served as the director of marketing for the National Association of Remodelers for the Greater Sacramento area. In 2009, she started KTJ Design Company.