As more people see the upsides of bringing more plant-life into your home, Tato Architects have designed a home in Kobe, Japan taking this to a whole new level.
Rather than keeping to the three strict separate elements of front garden, interior and back yard, they have designed this home to merge all of them together.
At the centre of the home, the covered courtyard acts as an ‘inner garden’, while outside an ‘outer courtyard’ has been sandwiched between the new house and its neighbours.
The architecture studio describes the home’s outdoor spaces as areas which can be “inside or outside depending on the furniture”.
To the northern end of the site, the living, kitchen and dining space occupies the ground floor of the home, while at the southern end sits the small bathroom. In between, an outhouse-like toilet sits in a wooden wardrobe.
This sort of biophilic architecture, bringing the outdoors in, is designed to impose a setting of complete relaxation — a feeling that all of us want to experience in our interiors.
Although the term seems relatively new, biophilia was first used by psychologist Erich Fromm in 1964, then popularised by biologist Edward O Wilson in the 1980’s, when he detected how urbanization was leading to a disconnection with nature.
Now, there’s a huge clamour behind connecting humans with nature to improve well-being and architects are integrating this into their designs to great effect.
The main strategy is to bring characteristics of the natural world into built spaces, such as water, air, greenery, animals, and natural light. Biophilic designs are not just limited to material, they also include shapes, colours, textures, and relationships as well.
Several studies have provided evidence that interacting with nature promotes total well-being, improving all the factors that are associated with it: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mindfulness.
Biophilic interior design does not have to be about incorporating some sort of oak tree in your house, or covering your walls with grass — it doesn’t even have to be about adding a houseplant.
Instead, it’s centred around using the natural forms, shapes and colours of nature in a single design that creates a pleasant environment affecting health and well-being. Biophilic design includes a network of physical objects that complexly work together to create a common link with nature in space.
Using biophilic design and its elements in your homes is part of creating a stronger environment that combines with the natural biorhythms. One of the easiest ways to start introducing this design into a home is to add natural shapes, textures, and colours resembling nature.
Dark wood, large windows, lots of light, an open floor-plan are all relatively simple ways you can start to incorporate biophilic design into your own home.
Hero image credit: Monika Sathe Photography