With Earth Day coming up on the 22nd, we’re taking the month of April to celebrate the union of architecture and environment, starting with a fresh look at some recent buildings that echo some of nature’s structures. Architects around the world have incorporated organic design elements into their buildings, with everything from a bird’s nest to microscopic organisms finding themselves reflected in stone and glass. Below are a few of the projects that have inspired and sparked creativity for the Knightsbridge Park team this Earth Month.
One of the most famous examples of nature-inspired architecture is the Beijing National Stadium, designed by Herzog & de Meuron for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Replicating the bowl created by the tangled branches of a bird’s nest, the Beijing National Stadium takes the logic of the natural world and expands it to a vast human scale, making tiny nestlings of everyone who walks into the venue to enjoy an athletic contest. The bird’s-nest design is more than just an aesthetic affectation: the stadium enjoys the same structural benefits as our fellow creatures’ miniature constructions, creating a robust edifice that will stand the test of time.
While the Beijing National Stadium recreates a bird’s nest writ large, Architect Fruto Vivas’s “Flor de Venezuela en Barquisimeto” is a kinetic building that takes its shape from the orchid. The pavilion’s roof is made of 16 lightweight sections that unfold like the petals of a flower, opening the building’s roof to admit sunlight inside. When the skies darken, the petals close, protecting the pavilion’s inner sanctum from the elements. Like an orchid, the pavilion is a beautiful, dynamic jewel that draws the eye and captures the imagination.
While many designers draw inspiration from more common natural objects and organisms, architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier looked through the microscope to generate ideas for their award-winning design for the Kunsthaus Graz Museum in Austria. The resulting building mimics the amoebic microorganism shapes found within droplets of water, creating a massive blue structure; dotted with ventricle-like protrusions that hide the skylights illuminating the museum’s interior, it’s an example of the boundaries that designers can push against when taking their cues from previously hidden parts of the natural world.
Whether an architect is using nature as inspiration for beautiful architecture or using tactics to make a building more energy-efficient, Knightsbridge Park recognizes the growing importance of the natural world in design and architecture. Get in touch via our Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn pages, and we’ll start telling your story today.