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The Practical Application of Green Architecture

The Practical Application of Green Architecture

Green architecture is a term that most architects are familiar with, I can clearly remember it being drilled into our heads during my varsity days. However, its practical application has recently begun taking on many different forms in the industry such as the topics of Biophilic Design and Natural Analogues to name a few.

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” – Frank Lloyd Wright   

I am currently in the middle of a course which delves into the principles of Biophilic design and how it is critical both from an environmental point of view as well as a societal one.

The importance of Biophilic design and the thought-provoking way it has been applied to the various examples I’ve been exposed to in the course has begun to resonate with me. It is very easy to get stuck in a generic way of designing and not challenging oneself to adopt such inspiring and necessary principles.

I believe in the power of space and we as architects have the special ability to dictate the way in which that space responds to the user. Biophilic design is the tool which provides a platform for technology to integrate the natural environment back into our buildings.

I was asked whether I have “knowingly or unknowingly” applied Biophilic Strategies to any of my recent projects. This made me think about a project I was recently privileged to work on with Arrowhead Properties, a building refurbishment which we have renamed, The Aviary.

   

The façade design was designed with the intention to uplift the building without completely covering the existing structure.

Upon closer reflection it appears that subconsciously the following strategies can be found in the design execution: “Dynamic light”, which creates shadows which change over time and thus mimic natural elements such as shadows cast through trees; “Visual Connection with Nature”, which makes use of mock greenery and gives the user a natural visual element to connect with and finally the use of Biomorphic forms seen in the design of the lazer panels.

  

The overall design combines contrasting textures and materials to highlight the building’s existing form and awakens the once poorly defined spaces and visually enhances the outside and inside simultaneously.

I breathed a sigh of relief, post this analysis, there is no point in studying terms, principles and strategies if they are not being applied at a practical level.

My next design will be more conscious, let’s have a chat about your space and its potential.