Albert Einstein once said, “Look deeper into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
Today, more and more architects are taking inspiration from nature in developing their designs. Biomimetic architecture is a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable design that seeks solutions through an in-depth understanding of the principles behind the natural world. Some would even argue that using nature-based design is like tapping into a research and development laboratory with 3.8 billion years of experience. Through advanced construction technologies, architects and engineers can now replicate complex forms and systems that are typically only found in nature.
Here are some of the most famous buildings in the world that were inspired by nature:
1. La Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain)
The late Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece is still under construction to this day and yet already considered as one of the most famous buildings in the world, with a portion declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But did you know that its towering columns and vaulted ceilings were inspired by the forest? Stained-glass windows where sunlight seeps in further enhance the experience of walking through a forest canopy.
2. The Gherkin (London, England)
Though nicknamed The Gherkin (after the vegetable), 30 St. Mary Axe in Central London actually takes its shape from the Venus flower basket sea sponge. With an efficient air ventilation system based on how sea sponges and anemones filter water, The Gherkin requires less energy to cool the building and is considered as one of the first environmentally-sustainable buildings in the UK.
3. Taipei 101 (Taipei, Taiwan)
While the name of the once-tallest building in the world was taken from the actual number of its storeys, the architecture of Taipei 101 was derived from the image of a bamboo stalk. With eight stacked segments covered in green glass, the building is not only green on the outside, but on the inside as well. Today, the building uses 30% less energy and saves 10% on electricity and water consumption. It currently holds the title of the tallest and largest green building in the world, receiving a LEED Platinum certification in 2011.
4. Bird’s Nest (Beijing, China)
Built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, the Beijing National Stadium features a series of overlapping steel trusses which protects a bowl-shaped stadium inside. A translucent membrane fills up the space between these two elements, reminiscent of an actual bird’s nest where birds fill the empty spaces. This creates the illusion of a seemingly porous and lightweight structure, despite being able to hold events for almost 100,000 people at one time.
Green is in
Today, nature-based architecture is not only used for major buildings and structures but also in developing homes. Here in the Philippines, one can live in a home built on the principles of nature-inspired design through the Hedera Home at Batulao Artscapes in Batangas. The Hedera Home is designed by multi-awarded furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, known for using nature and traditional crafts in creating innovative, modern pieces. The Hedera Home lets nature take an active role in “designing” the home through ivy walls that cover the exterior of the two-bedroom duplex, turning the artificial structure into a lush and organic-looking abode. This not only serves an aesthetic purpose but also cools the home and purifies the air.
More than living close to nature, the Hedera Home allows you to work with nature in creating the home of your dreams.
Experience living in your very own Hedera Home at Batulao Artscapes, located south of Metro Manila in Barangay Kaylaway, Nasugbu Batangas, along the Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway. Visit www.batulaoartscapes.com or click here to learn more about the world’s first livable art park!