BIO-ARCHITECTURE IS HERE, IMPROVING THE WELLBEING OF PEOPLE AND NATURE
Health, peace of mind and happiness: new trends speak of a holistic vision of life. A new approach to life that embodies everything that strikes the right balance between body, mind and spirit in as natural a way as possible. Inspired by oriental philosophies, bio-architecture promotes a simple lifestyle in harmony with its surroundings, even in large cities, and a culture where the home is a haven of peace.
This vision is nothing new. Quite the opposite! The idea of designing and building something that focuses totally on our psychophysical wellbeing harks back to ancient oriental philosophies like Feng Shui and, a bit closer to modern day, the design wisdom of our forefathers. Holism comes from Greek and means “whole”: this philosophy is based on the idea that a system should be considered a whole and not a series of single parts.
Today, thanks to the holistic vision, our homes can be conceived, designed and built taking tradition, the environment and culture as a whole. Attention to detail and careful balance are crucial if we are to encourage personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of the environment we live in. Bio-architecture therefore focuses on the soul of the house and the effects this soul can have on our psyche.
The choice of materials and colours is crucial: cork, hemp and lime are perfect for interiors because they breathe and are therefore healthier. Furnishings should be chosen with care, opting for simple, eco-sustainable materials if possible: if a home lacks harmony, it does not breathe in the metaphorical and physical sense.
Colours are also fundamental: nature-inspired colours help our body become one with its surroundings.
Because when a house is loaded with stimuli, objects or colours that make an impact on us, it can hamper our breath and life.
Plants are also essential to wellbeing, because while they are important to the vitality of the home, they also help us fight polluting emissions (biological, physical and chemical). And tending to plants is good for the body and soul.
A singular example of bio-architecture is undoubtedly the “Exbury Egg” floating house (www.exburyegg.org), designed by architect Stephen Turner, which merges artistic inspiration, architecture, technology and the principles of contemporary ecology: the artist explained that “The Egg itself is its own artwork”. The building, tethered to the bank of the River Beaulieu in England, takes its inspiration from nesting seabirds and is built in cedar wood and deal; it is approximately six metres long and almost three wide. The builders’ intent was to create “a minimal impact live/work structure, using materials with a low embodied energy sourced within a twenty-mile radius, and put together by a team of local craftsmen using local centuries old boat-building techniques”. Inside, the furnishings consist of just a shower, stove, table and hammock. Turner lived in the floating egg for a whole year from July 2013 to July 2014. At the end of the year-long experiment, the Exbury Egg was used for educational purposes, like exhibitions and school projects.