Biophilic library design
Bring nature into libraries
Biophilic design seeks to bring people closer to nature. It is proven that nature contributes to our mental health and physical wellbeing. On average, people spend more than 90% of their time in built environments.
By introducing biophilic design into libraries and other public buildings we can accommodate our innate need to affiliate with nature in the modern world. Our aim is to contribute to a biophilic library setting and habitat where aspects of nature have a positive impact on the people who engage in, and occupy these spaces.
The concept ”biophilic” dates from thousands of years ago. In the 1980’s the American biologist Edward O. Wilson popularized the term again when observing how urbanization led to disconnection with the natural world. Today, biophilia is deeply rooted in the planning of cities, neighborhoods and built environments like libraries.
The lockdown during the Covid19 pandemic also pushed forward the biophilic interior design trend. People are now keener than ever to "connect" with nature.
What is biophilic library design?
Biophilia - origin of the word
A human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature: a desire or tendency to commune with nature.
We have put together a series of articles with different themes that demonstrate our biophilic design commitment. In anticipation of these, we want to give you a deeper insight into biophilic design and how to use it in libraries.
When the library interior design embraces (or looks like) our natural environment, our visitors feel a greater sense of relaxation and calmness, making the library space a place that facilitates the necessary mental breaks that are essential for our well-being and quality of life. In addition, biophilic design is believed to promote a positive and sustained relationship between the natural environment and the library visitors and staff alike.
Biophilic interior design is brought to life by embracing nature with the use of natural light, plants, and natural material forms. The use of graphics that imitate natural landscapes and bring “the outside in” further embraces this theme.
5 outcomes of effective biophilic library design:
- Natural elements in libraries make the visitors feel happy, calm and relaxed.
- Simply adding plants and green environments to the library can increase well-being and creativity of visitors by almost 50%.
- Optimized exposure to daylight can increase speed of learning by over 25%.
- Working in a biophilic friendly library environment increases the performance of the staff by 10-25%.
- Natural elements increase the emotional attachment between libraries, visitors, and staff with a sense of membership and ownership.
How we work with biophilic design
By bringing nature into libraries, we aim to make our interior designs...
- evoke a sense of nature through materials, colours, textures, shapes and patterns.
- embrace the effect of natural light in the interior design and furniture settings.
- include furniture and accessories which supports the biophilic thesis.
- frame biophilic settings by using nature-themed graphics.
- bring life to nature and magical worlds inspired by books.
Many of our projects demonstrate our work with biophilic design and our ability to bring nature into today’s built library environment.
Biophilic design is a natural element in the way we think about modern libraries as it supports our vision of creating comfortable and attractive spaces where people can take time-out during busy weekdays. It is an important part of our current work - and will continue to be so.
Sometimes biophilic design is the conscious dominant factor in our designs, in others only a subconscious underlaying theme. As library design professionals we strive to understand the unique context and need of each project.
Read more about our biophilic themes below