Five Best Examples of Biophilic Design

This post first appeared on my Biofilico website here

From Seattle to Scotland, the best biophilic design examples can be found in any variety of settings but they all have one thing in common - interiors that use natural materials, plants, lighting and other sensory design elements to give the user an experience energizes, refreshes, and connects them to nature. 

Here are our top five picks of the moment: 

1 hotel biophilic design

1 Hotels, New York & Miami

In a city packed with traffic, endless high rises, and lots of commotion, 1 Hotels is an urban retreat inspired by nature. Outside you will find walls brimming with lush greenery, while inside interspersed plants and interiors crafted using reclaimed materials promote a warm aesthetic. This biophilic experience doesn’t just extend to this hotel’s decor though, they offer farm-to-fork food in their dining room and even a daily fresh fruit stand in the lobby.

amazon the spheres seattle

The Spheres, Seattle (above)

The Spheres are home to 40,000 plants from 30 different countries, including a variety of living walls that account for over 4,000 square feet of vegetated surface. This Amazon building aims to connect employees and visitors with a direct link to nature in an urban setting— and with their glass dome that lets in an abundance of natural light and array of greenery, we think they delivered on their promise, and then some!

lily jencks biophilis design

Ruins Studio, Scotland (above)

Ruins Studio garnered many awards the year after its competition—and for good reason. Designed by Lily Jencks Studio, NDA and Savills-Smiths Gore this unique structure was built inside a ruin. The original stone was kept intact, now being used as a natural, textural shell. It creates a strong contrast to the smoother, contemporary build nestled inside. 

wardian biophilic design

The Wardian, London  (above)

Whether relaxing in the sky lounge crafted with extra high ceilings, expansive trees, and floor-to-ceiling windows or taking a dip in the swimming pool immersed in a lush, natural landscape, it’s easy to forget that you are in the bustling metropolis of London when you are at The Wardian. While this project is still under construction, it is already proving itself to be an iconic biophilic design case study. We created a pop-up Vitamin Nature wellness space for the developer EcoWorld Ballymore in 2018, the results from that research study can be found online here.

second home biophilia

Second Home, Lisbon  (above)

While Second Home has many locations, the one in Lisbon is truly a biophilic haven with its abundance of light and over 1000 plants. Both Biofit & Biofilico were effectively based there for the formative first year or two of the business in fact!

This shared workspace is ideal for teams of 1 to 100 that need a workspace and want to experience an extra boost of creativity, happiness, and productivity through the power of Vitamin Nature. Wellness isn’t just built into their interior though, they also practice what they preach by offering members yoga classes, surf trips, and educational and cultural seminars

biofit biophilia biofilico biophilic design gym fitness health

Karolinska Institutet gym by Biofit, Stockholm

And one more for luck... we couldn't resist adding in our tiny biophilic gym at the Karolinska Institutet medical university, just to show that not all these projects need to be large-scale! We created a space with maximum health benefits by implementing a design that consists of both direct and indirect biophilia, including muraled walls, circadian lighting, air-purifying plants, and 100% sustainable materials. Students of the medical university are free to use the space whenever they choose and regular classes provide extra incentives for those in need of a break from their research studies.