The concept of biophilia has informed the thinking of many contemporary designers. The ideas are reflected amongst the multi-residential and commercial high rise buildings seen in our cities, with rooftop gardens, planter boxes and plantations lining the exteriors of these places in an attempt to satisfy our subconscious desire to seek a connection with nature.
Sustainability is at the heart of every new building in an attempt to bring us closer to net zero and the incorporation of greenery into our buildings is a subsidiary of sustainable practice. It’s for this reason that the creation of greener spaces is a logical decision for designers to make, and will certainly continue into the future.
Architects are working with property developers to create spaces that respond to biophilic principles. Urban dwellers are realizing that slowing down and prioritizing wellness is not only recommended, but essential for their wellbeing and productivity.
A recent Terrapin Bright Green report, for example, suggests that when people are in natural environments compared to urban ones with fewer natural features, they notice “greater emotional restoration, with lower instances of tension, anxiety, anger, fatigue, confusion, and total mood disturbance.”
Architectural Record has also outlined that numerous studies indicate that biophilic design solutions in homes and workplaces can reduce stress, lower heart rates and blood pressure, and increase creativity, productivity, and wellbeing.
These noticeable improvements taking place at home can help residents slow down and focus on recovery and restoration.
It is for these reasons and more that Crown Group has looked to incorporate an array of plantations into two of its latest developments in Sydney – Waterfall and Mastery.
Iwan Sunito, Crown Group’s co-founder and CEO, says both developments have been created to help occupants focus on living a slower, calmer life, thanks to the work of designers to incorporate greenery within the buildings.
“We’re introducing a new era of luxury urban living with these projects that creates communities and connects people to the natural environment, which can lead to a more wellness-focused life,” he says.
“With many employees planning to continue working remotely in the future, the worldwide trend of biophilic design and its evidence of improving overall wellbeing at home is needed now more than ever.”
The SJB-designed Waterfall by Crown Group is home to Australia’s largest manmade waterfall that sits amongst a garden rich with green plantations, totalling over 5,000 tropical plants and a 6m high green wall that holds a cinema screen. Designed by Waterforms International’s Dirk Slotboom, the 22-metre high waterfall is an unprecedented creation that adds a sense of tranquil to the grounds of the building.
Mastery by Crown Group is a $500 million development designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, Japanese-born, Sydney-based architect Koichi Takada and Sydney’s Silvester Fuller, located at Waterloo.
The minimalist qualities of the architecture is accompanied by greenery implanted into the exterior façade of one of the buildings – a “stacked forest” concept never before seen in the harbour city.
Adding to the façade are roof gardens that will be visible from the street. In addition to the biophilic design elements incorporated into the architecture and interiors, greenery in the urban environment increases sustainability by reducing carbon monoxide, increasing energy efficiency, and improving air quality.
As long as humans walk the earth, there will always be an innate connection to nature linked within our psyche. Bringing lush green settings to our cities will only improve our quality of life, while cleaning our airways. The onus is on architects and property developers to incorporate biophilic principles into their designs, but as witnessed around the city and within Crown’s portfolio, it seems as if we've been headed there for some time.